Computer vision syndrome

Asthenopia or visual fatigue is a visual disorder that presents a series of non-specific symptoms, due to a working overload of the muscles (intrinsic and extrinsic) of the eyeball.


The workers most at risk are video terminal workers, because they spend many hours a day at the computer and are therefore subjected to particular visual stress.

Among video terminal workers, a greater incidence is found in individuals with incorrect visual defects or incorrectly corrected.

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) has an increasing impact for the growing use of smartphones, personal computers and tablets. In fact, it affects 70-90% of people who use digital device for long time.

The severity of symptoms is significantly influenced by the effort required and the duration of the activity (it increases significantly with the duration of use of PC).1

These tools are designed for close-up use, so the eyes must constantly focus on the images, in fact they are subjected to excessive effort.


Asthenopia symptoms are different and include fatigue, pain, blurred vision and headache and occasionally double vision.

Ocular surface disorders occur with dry eyes, burning or heaviness.

This disorder is found more frequently in women, myopic and contact lens users.2,3,4


It is performed with a careful and complete eye exam, paying particular attention to the assessment of visual acuity and the anterior ocular surface (assess the possible lack of tearing).

In some case it is necessary to perform an orthoptic examination, with a study of fixation and ocular motility.

Diagnosis is mainly based on the evaluation of the symptoms reported by the patient (visual fatigue, eye pain, ocular heaviness, blurred vision).


The most frequently used solutions are:

  1. Use of glasses with correction that takes account the working distance
  2. Periodic breaks during computer work (for example fifteen minutes every two hours)
  3. Keep the correct ambient lighting during the working hours (avoiding annoying reflections: the light source should be placed at 90° to the screen)
  4. To correct posture (in fact it has been noticed that it has an influence on the asthenopia)
  5. Instillation, if it is necessary, tear substitutes ("artificial tears"), that constantly lubricate the ocular surface
  6. Use of foods that support ocular health such as blackberry which improves ocular microcirculation, the well-being of sight, but also the symptomatology of asthenopia.5




  1. S. Gowrisankaran and J.E. Sheedy, IOS Press 2014
  2. Parihar J.K.S. et al., Med J Armed Forces India 2016
  3. Rashidi Sultan H. Al, Alhumaidan H., International Journal of Health Sciences 2017
  4. Tauste A. et al., Ophthalmic Physiol OPT 2016
  5. Ozawa Y. et al., J Nutr Health Aging 2014

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