Are computer screens damaging your eyes?

Between 50 and 90% of people who work in front of a computer screen have some symptoms of eye trouble, studies show.

Story highlights

  • Computer use can strain your eyes
  • There's even a name for it: Computer Vision Syndrome
  • There are ways to combat the damage
The rumor: You can damage your eyes by looking at a computer screen for too long
After staring at a monitor for hours on end, have your eyes ever felt dry, itchy or irritated? Has your vision become blurry, or have you even seen double? Has your head begun to pound because of all the squinting and straining?
Annoying eye problems like these call for eyedrops -- or maybe for dropping your computer off a cliff. But are Macs and PCs really to blame for our eyestrain?
The verdict: Computer use can definitely strain your eyes -- but there are ways to combat the damage
Studies have shown that between 50 and 90% of people who work in front of a computer screen have some symptoms of eye trouble.
"We definitely see a lot of people who complain of eyestrain," says opthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler. "Hours upon hours of close focusing without taking a break is usually the main culprit."
The problem is so common, there's even a name for it: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Wachler says that people usually blink around 18 times per minute, which refreshes the eyes naturally. But blink rates are reduced when staring at a computer screen or other digital device, and this can make your eyes burn, dry out, turn red or feel itchy.
Sitting too close to your computer monitor, or holding a