24 Mar

7 Tips to Combat Computer Eye Strain

Computer eye strain is a problem for many people these days, with more and more time being spent in front of screens both professionally and personally.

Studies have shown that eye strain and other irritating visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers.  While cutting back on computer time may not be an option for most people, there are some easy ways to keep your eyes as healthy as possible while using your computer or tablet.

Light Your Space Properly – Excessively bright light can cause eye strain.  When using a computer, your lighting should be about half as bright as most offices.  Excess light can be found coming through windows or from bright fluorescent lights.  You can cut the light by closing shades, blinds, or drapes over windows and using less bulbs or lower intensity bulbs in your workroom.  It is ideal to have any windows beside your computer instead of in front of or behind it as well.

Minimize Glare – Glare on walls, furniture and your computer screen can all lead to eye strain.  You can install an anti-glare screen protector on your computer monitor and, if possible, paint any bright white walls around you a darker and matte finished color to reduce glare.  If you wear eyeglasses, consider getting an anti-reflective coating on your lenses to reduce glare on your eyeglass lenses.

Adjust Your Display Settings – You can adjust your monitor display settings to help with eye strain as well.  Brightness on your monitor should be about the same as your surrounding work area.  If a white screen on your monitor looks like a light source, it’s too bright.  If it looks dull and grey it’s too dark.  You should adjust the text size and contrast on your display as well.  Black print on a white background is usually best for comfort.  

Blink More – People blink about one third as much as normal when working at a computer.  This can lead to dry and irritated eyes.  The air in many office environments is dry, which can exacerbate the problem.  If you experience dry eyes, you can ask your eye doctor about using artificial tears to help lubricate your eyes and relieve symptoms.  You can also try taking a short break every 20 minutes you use the computer to blink 10 times very slowly (as if you’re falling asleep).   This can help rewet your eyes.  

Exercise Your Eyes – Focusing fatigue is another reason for eye strain when working at a computer.  You can easily reduce focusing fatigue by following the “20-20-20” rule:  Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet (about 6 meters) away for 20 seconds.  You can combine this with the blinking break every 20 minutes to optimize your eye relief.

Take A Break – You should take frequent breaks during your workday.  Adding just a few “mini-breaks” of 5 minutes to walk around and stretch your legs and shoulders can make a big difference in your eye and body fatigue.  Studies have shown that workers who took these breaks were actually more productive during the day than those who didn’t.

Get A Comprehensive Eye Exam – One of the most important things you can do for computer eye strain is to have a comprehensive eye exam.  Let your eye doctor know how many hours a day you work at a computer, and measure the distance you sit away from your monitor and take that measurement with you so your doctor can measure your vision at that distance.


Read more at: http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm

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