Computer vision syndrome

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 6 Mar 2020

Computer vision syndrome is a condition that affects primarily workers who use computers (including tablets and other devices with computer screens) many hours a day with symptoms that can include blurred vision, eye strain, and headache.

Computer vision syndrome is a growing phenomenon especially in advanced economies as more and more workers spend increasing time looking into computer screens. Occupational groups such as bankers, software engineers,  journal editors and radiologists are at a higher risk than the general population. The overall global prevalence of the disease was reported as nearly 60 million in some sources 5.

The syndrome has a variable presentation with symptoms including:

  • blurred vision, loss of ability to focus
  • double vision
  • headache
  • neck, back and/or shoulder pain
  • red and/or dry eyes

The computer vision syndrome is of particular interest to radiologists as an occupational hazard. Breaks, eye drops and blue light filtering glasses have all been proposed as personally ameliorating measures for people who suffer from this problem, whereas glare filter screens on computers and ergonomic measures are workplace interventions to combat the issue.  

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