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Bol Asoc Med P R. 2004 Mar-Apr;96(2):103-10.

Factors leading to the Computer Vision Syndrome: an issue at the contemporary workplace.

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  • 1Academia Perpetuo Socorro, Miramar, Puerto Rico.



Vision and eye related problems are common among computer users, and have been collectively called the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).


An observational study in order to identify the risk factors leading to the CVS was done. Twenty-eight participants answered a validated questionnaire, and had their workstations examined. The questionnaire evaluated personal, environmental, ergonomic factors, and physiologic response of computer users. The distance from the eye to the computers' monitor (A), the computers' monitor height (B), and visual axis height (C) were measured. The difference between B and C was calculated and labeled as D. Angles of gaze to the computer monitor were calculated using the formula: angle=tan(-1)(D/ A). Angles were divided into two groups: participants with angles of gaze ranging from 0 degrees to 13.9 degrees were included in Group 1; and participants gazing at angles larger than 14 degrees were included in Group 2. Statistical analysis of the evaluated variables was made.


Computer users in both groups used more tear supplements (as part of the syndrome) than expected. This association was statistically significant (p<0.10). Participants in Group 1 reported more pain than participants in Group 2. Associations between the CVS and other personal or ergonomic variables were not statistically significant.


Our findings show that most important factor leading to the syndrome is the angle of gaze at the computer monitor. Pain in computer users is diminished when gazing downwards at angles of 14 degrees or more. The CVS remains an under estimated and poorly understood issue at the workplace. The general public, health professionals, the government, and private industries need to be educated about the CVS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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