Computer Vision Syndrome: Concern for 21st Century officialdom

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Vision occurs when light is processed by the eye and interpreted by the brain. Light passes through the transparent eye surface (the cornea).

The pupil, the black opening in the front of the eye, is an opening to the eye interior. In the 21st Century, which is referred to as information age, there is an increased use of computers and other digital gadgets, including but not limited to mobile phones which are used daily in offices and homes. Some of these digital devices with screens create health problems for users.

One such digital-use problem, which causes eye problems is called computer vision syndrome (CVS), which according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is increasingly afflicting more people who constantly use computers, mobile phones and other digital devices for work.

Constant viewing of the digital screens can affect the eye. However, most eye health professionals are yet to find CVS as a cause of any permanent eye damage even though its resultant pain and discomfort can affect work performance.

With a few preventive measures, however, the symptoms associated with CVS can be easily erased. Although computer vision syndromes are becoming a major public health concern, less emphasis is given to them, particularly in developing countries.

Public education is important in this regard. This constitutes the impetus for this article. 


CVS is also called Digital Eye Strain (DES). It is a phenomenon linked to ever increasing use of digital screens. It affects a large number of individuals, including children. Recognising the causative and alleviating factors of CVS may help establish appropriate measures as its antidotes.

The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, compelled more virtual meetings which made workers and students use computer screens for days. According to an empirical study, about 74 per cent of the participants experienced CVS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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