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9 Tips to Reduce Computer Vision Syndrome

CVS Treatment Canberra

Have you ever wondered why your eyes feel tired after a long day at the computer screen? You may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome.

Many people think it’s the inevitable product of hours in front of digital devices. But how you spend those hours can make a difference.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Juliet Menakaya, the owner and principal optometrist at Junic Eye Care, in Canberra.

I’d like to share with you some of my insights about computer vision syndrome (CVS) a.k.a. digital eye strain.

Last year, a patient of ours, let’s call him Mike, started experiencing persistent eye strain and headaches. Given his profession as a mobile app developer, he shrugged it off as an occupational hazard of long coding sessions. But, when his symptoms started affecting his work, he knew it was time to seek professional help. That’s when he decided to visit Junic Eye Care.

During his visit, an exam found the root cause of his discomfort: digital eye strain. He was prescribed a pair of blue light reduction glasses and left the clinic with practical advice on managing screen time, emphasizing the 20-20-20 rule to give his eyes the necessary breaks.

A month later, Mike noticed a significant improvement. His headaches were gone and his productivity improved. He could code for many more hours in the day without discomfort. This proves how important professional eye care advice can be.

Discover how customized eye care can make your screen time strain-free!

Keep exploring our blog for more insights and tips on maintaining your eye health in the digital age.


Understanding Computer Vision Syndrome

Awareness is key to managing CVS. In our tech-driven lives, it’s essential to recognize the symptoms and understand their causes.

  • Understanding CVS: It’s characterized by symptoms like eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, and dry eyes. The root of the issue is our extensive screen time, whether for work or leisure.
  • Digital Devices’ Role: Our reliance on digital screens has made CVS more prevalent. The glare, flicker, and prolonged focus required by these devices strain our eyes, demanding more from them than they are naturally designed to handle.
  • Contributing Factors: Environmental conditions such as poor lighting, screen glare, and improper workstation setup can exacerbate CVS symptoms.

Watch the following video where Dr Richard Simons goes deeper on the symptoms and causes of computer vision syndrome.

Tip #1: Optimize Your Work Environment

Can adjusting your screen really make a difference in combating Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)? Absolutely. In my practice, I often compare a well-set-up workspace to a well-tuned instrument—it makes every performance that much better.

Positioning your screen is key. It should be about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level. This setup mirrors reading a book comfortably in your favorite chair—close enough to see clearly without leaning forward, but far enough to give your eyes a broader perspective.


Tip #2: Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This brief pause is like a mini-vacation for your eyes, allowing them to relax and reduce strain. Just like you need to stretch your legs after sitting for too long, your eyes need a break from the constant focus on screens.

Putting this rule into practice is easier than you might think. Set a timer on your phone or use a desktop app designed to remind you to take these essential breaks. It’s a small step that can lead to a significant improvement in how your eyes feel at the end of the day.

Incorporating the 20-20-20 rule into your daily routine is a practical, straightforward strategy to protect your eyes from the effects of CVS.


Tip #3: Use Proper Eyewear

Protective lenses, specifically designed to filter out blue light, can significantly reduce the strain on your eyes. Imagine these lenses as your personal screen filter, standing guard against the invisible waves that tire your eyes. They create a safer environment for your eyes in a digitally dominated landscape.

At Junic Eye Care, we take the time to understand your specific needs, ensuring you get eyewear that fits your life perfectly. Whether you need a prescription update or are exploring protective blue light lenses for the first time, we guide you through the selection process with expertise and care. There’s more to prescribing glasses than helping you see better—we also want to protect your eyes with the defense they deserve.


Tip #4: Adjust Your Digital Device Settings

Tweaking screen settings for optimal comfort can make a world of difference. Adjust the brightness of your device to match the lighting in your room—too bright, and you’re staring into a flashlight; too dim, and you’re straining to see.

Embracing “dark mode” on devices is like putting on sunglasses on a sunny day. This feature reduces blue light exposure, known to interfere with sleep and strain the eyes. By switching to dark mode, especially during the evening, you’re not just easing your eyes; you’re setting the stage for a better night’s sleep.


Tip #5: Reduce Environmental Glare

Minimizing glare is like wearing sunglasses on a bright day; it protects your eyes and makes viewing more comfortable. Use blinds or curtains to control natural light and consider an anti-glare screen if you’re near windows.

Tip #6: Blink More Often

How often do you think about blinking? It’s like breathing; we do it without much thought, yet it plays a critical role in our eye health, especially in the digital age. Blinking is our eyes’ natural way of staying moist and refreshed, similar to using windshield wipers in a rainstorm to maintain clear vision.

In the context of staring at screens, we tend to blink less frequently, leading to dry, irritated eyes.

During long periods of screen time you should consciously make an effort to blink fully and completely, at least once every 20 minutes, ensuring your eyelids touch and fully coat the eye surface with a fresh layer of tears.


Tip #7: Stay Hydrated and Use Artificial Tears

Hydration plays a pivotal role in eye health. Every part of our body needs water to function properly, and our eyes are no exception. Adequate hydration ensures that your eyes remain lubricated and comfortable, reducing the risk of irritation and dryness commonly associated with Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

There are times, however, when drinking water isn’t enough. This is where artificial tears come in handy. They’re especially useful in environments that contribute to dry eyes, such as air-conditioned offices or during long flights.

Using artificial tears is simple and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. For most people, a drop in each eye throughout the day can significantly improve eye comfort. However, it’s always best to consult with an optometrist, like myself at Junic Eye Care, to find the product that best suits your specific needs.


Tip #8: Palm Healing

Rubbing your hands together until they’re warm and then gently placing them over your eyes is an age-old technique known as “palm healing” or “palming.” While this method does not directly cure Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), it can offer temporary relief from its symptoms. Think of it as giving your eyes a mini spa treatment. The warmth from your palms helps relax the muscles around your eyes, potentially easing strain and fatigue caused by prolonged screen time.


Tip #9: Regular Eye Exams

Why do we often wait until we notice a problem before we seek help? When it comes to our eye health, regular comprehensive eye examinations are the cornerstone of prevention and optimal vision. Think of these exams as routine maintenance for your car; just as you wouldn’t wait for a breakdown to service your vehicle, your eyes deserve the same proactive care.

At Junic Eye Care, we take a holistic approach to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Our comprehensive eye exams go beyond simple vision checks. We assess how your eyes work together in the digital world and identify any underlying issues that could contribute to CVS symptoms.

By understanding the unique demands placed on your eyes by digital devices, we can recommend personalized solutions—from specific eyewear to adjustments in your digital habits. Regular check-ups enable us to monitor changes over time, ensuring your eyes are not just protected but thriving in our screen-saturated environment.



In this article I’ve outlined a few simple tips to combat computer vision syndrome. By applying some simple lifestyle adjustments and modifications to your workspace, you should find that your discomfort from CVS is noticeably reduced.

And remember, in the fight against CVS, regular eye exams are your first line of defense. They’re an investment in your eye health today and for the future, ensuring that computer vision syndrome doesn’t reduce your ability to enjoy life or work at your full potential. Take charge by scheduling an eye care consultation today.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.