Eye health: ‘Computer vision syndrome’ is caused by excessive screen time – symptoms


Before the pandemic, before the advent of working from home, before smartphones, before Facebook, there was the 1990s. It was an age of optimism for the West, for people, for societal well-being, Fukuyama had declared the end of history and the USSR looked towards a future filled with the hope of democracy. As the world enters the third decade of the 21st Century, the world is far from the optimism of a decade that began with the fall of the Soviet Union and ended with the Backstreet Boys. What has remained a constant amongst all this is the public’s use of laptops and computers for work and pleasure.

With the rise of portable computers, from devices that weighed as much as a pile of bricks to the glass wonders that slip with ease into our pockets, more interest has been taken by the medicinal community in the impact these devices have on our lives.

Of late, a lot of work has gone into investigating and understanding the impact of social media on mental wellbeing and how these devices affect the behaviour of youth.

However, 24 years ago, in 1998 doctors coined the term Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS for short.

It was used to describe the impact of computer screens on the eyes.

READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency: Symptoms in the face

Computer vision syndrome causes the eyes to feel strained, dry, and tired.

Other symptoms of CVS are headaches, blurred vision, dry eye, discomfort, and redness in the eyes.

These symptoms are “easily treated and managed [and] there is no evidence that the syndrome causes long-term sight problems,” says Optical Express.

Treatments for CVS include laser eye surgery, glasses, and contact lenses.


More information about how to maintain eye health is available via the College of Optometrists online.

Meanwhile, the key message with screen time in the modern era is to take breaks often in order to allow the eyes to recover.

If one’s eyesight gets progressively worse, spectacles or contact lenses may be required.

For more information on this, consult an optician.


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