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Minimize Visual Fatigue

Concussion and traumatic brain injury can make visually engaging with computers and technology a very daunting task. Screens present unique visual demands that often make the eyes and brain work harder, and much differently, than when engaged with 3-dimensional space.  Viewing a digital screen presents diverse challenges in comparison to reading a printed page.   

With screens, the contrast presented of letters to the background is often reduced, words and pictures can have less sharply defined borders, and glare, or sometimes even reflections can make the viewing environment challenging to interpret.  Individuals often adopt body positioning or viewing distances and angles that are not apparent for other sustained visual concentration tasks like book reading or writing.

With our digitally demanding world and the introduction of technology at earlier and earlier ages, many of us are faced with new visual stress from computer screens where we may not have developed the visual skills and abilities necessary to support these demands. Or in other words, many individuals aren’t visually ready to be staring at screens. And many are just accepting the visual symptoms that come with this, even though this does not have to be the case. Throw a head injury on top of this and the accompanying light sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, headache, blurred vision, eyestrain, brain fog, etc., screens often are a recipe for disaster. It is our mission to help support you and establish mindful habits to ensure that bad habits don’t become embedded. In working with us, you can learn how to retrain the brain to return to previous level of function, return to learn, and return to life!

 Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also referred to as digital eye strain, is a cluster of eye and vision related problems that are as a result of prolonged computer, tablet, and cell phone use.  Many of the symptoms associated with this syndrome are often influenced by  poor lighting, the glare associated with digital screens, unhealthy viewing distances, or poor posture while seated.  The level of discomfort usually increases with the amount of screen time, but symptoms can also arise with shorter exposure.

Uncorrected or previously unknown vision problems often exacerbate symptoms and the severity of Computer Vision Syndrome.  

Even minor vision problems can majorly influence how an individual performs when engaged with a screen, and elicit symptoms. Often those who wear glasses or contact lenses may need a different prescription or setup that’s more suitable for the precise working distance of their screen. In these situations, many people may find they are adjusting their bodies or tilting or turning their heads in an effort take in the screen less uncomfortably. The unique eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement demands for screens taxes the visual system in ways that may force the brain to avoid the task or even adapt in unfavorable ways. Simply put, CVS symptoms arise when we don’t have the visual skills and abilities to meet the demands.   

While some experience symptoms within moments of staring at a computer, and others not at all, those who spend 2 or more continuous hours per day at a screen are at the greatest risk for developing CVS.

This is categorized as a combination of ocular, visual, and musculoskeletal symptoms associated with extended near work on computer monitors.  While handheld devices differ from computers-and laptops differ from desktops-in terms of viewing distance and position, usage patterns, screen size, and luminance, there is an increased risk of developing CVS with excessive use of any device with a screen.

It is estimated that about 70% of workplace computer users in the United States suffer from this syndrome.