In this age of technology, it is impossible to avoid reading on a screen. Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of impact that reading may have on your eyes. The bright lights of screens that many people gaze into, whether on their phones or computer screens at work, may not be good for your eyes.

Eye professionals across the world, including professionals at our private eye hospital in London, have looked into the potential harm that constantly reading from screens can have on people’s eyes. While reading on screens may be virtually unavoidable, it is important that if you find yourself constantly reading from screens that you are well versed in the potential side effects it may have on your eyes.



Because of the prevalence of people reading on or looking at their screens, there have been conditions that have been directly associated with this activity. This condition is called Computer Vision Symptom, and it is held in some form or other by a large number of people all throughout the country

Computer Vision Symptom (CVS) is not one individual disease but is rather a litany of various symptoms that people may express one or several of. Some of these symptoms are very specific to your eyesight including blurred vision and double vision. Other side effects and symptoms are present in the entire body including bad headaches or neck or back pain.


Many diseases and symptoms start appearing when a person gets older as a reaction to all the things that they did when they were younger. CVS is different because people of all ages are having high levels of exposure to screens. This means that young children up through adults are having eyesight issues that are directly related to how frequently they read from screens.

In school, children are constantly using computer screens to write papers and look up information. They are also using computers to play fun computer games. Therefore, symptoms of CVS show up at an incredibly high rate both in school children and in adults who are working on computers all day long.


There are a variety of ways that reading off a screen will harm your vision that are not an issue when you are reading off a piece of paper. The way in which your eyes have to operate in order to read information off a screen differs from the way you have to read when reading off of a different medium. These different actions are not very beneficial to maintaining your eye health.

The brightness of a computer, phone, or tablet screen is harmful for your eyes because as you look at the screen and look away your eyes are constantly refocusing. This constant and confusing refocusing is harmful to the strength of your eyes. Furthermore, because the images on a screen are constantly changing and shifting with new advertisements, your eyes have to refocus to take all of this information in.



The problems that reading from screens may cause your eyes are very widely supported as fact. How can you prevent yourself from getting these problems? It is entirely illogical to suggest that you can completely do away with reading on any screens and still continue to perform all of the tasks that you need to in a day. However, there are many ways that you can help to protect your eyes from the harm that screens may cause.

Firstly, turning down the brightness on your phone tablet or computer can be very helpful to protect your eyes. If you turn down the brightness, there is less that your eyes need to adjust and refocus to. Furthermore, limiting your screen time before bed or during the day will help them keep up the strong visual capabilities that they have.

Other things that may serve to help your eyesight are specific eye exercises. One that is recommended to resolve any harm done that came from looking at a screen for an elongated period of time includes looking away from the screen at something far away for twenty seconds. These twenty seconds allow your eyes to rehydrate and refocus in a way that is not as jarring as the bright light of a computer screen.

It is very possible to keep your eyes healthy in a time when screens and technology are entirely inescapable. You just need to be mindful of the potential risks that staring at bright screens for long periods of time pose. By being aware and mindful of the potential risks, you are able to take the necessary precautions to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

If you’re worried about your vision contact us and we can discuss and eye health check for you.