Working for long periods at the computer is a great way to hurt your eyes. You want to avoid computer eye strain as much as possible. Before we get into all that, let’s find out more about this problem and what it is.
What Is Computer Eye Strain?
You likely use screens to relax, work, and keep up with daily activities. However, the computer and eyestrain go together like a hand in a glove. Ultimately, you might notice that your eyes feel tired or dry. It’s possible to experience blurry vision at the end of the day. On top of that, the shoulders, neck, and head all ache, and it could be from your digital devices.
Why Does a Screen Cause Eyestrain?
Most people blink between 15 to 20 times per minute. That lets the tears spread over the eyes, keeping them moist. However, if you’re reading or watching a screen, you might blink less. There’s also the contrast of text on the background, flickering, and glare to put your computer and eyestrain together.
It’s important to learn how to reduce computer eye strain so that you can be more productive. Let’s find out how:
Tips to Help You Prevent Eye Strain from Your Computer
Here are nine things you can do to prevent computer eye strain and lead a healthier life while working.
1. Get an Eye Exam
Routine eye exams can help you treat or prevent computer eye strain. During the exam, let your doctor know that you use a computer at work or home. You should also measure the distance from your eyes to the computer. Take that along with you so that the doctor can test the eyes at your preferred working distance.
2. Use the Right Lights
Learning how to reduce computer eye strain often involves changing your light. Consider an LED desk lamp because it’s brighter. While the ambient lights shouldn’t be as bright as what most offices are, you also need enough of it so that your eyes can easily open and see what’s in front of them.
If possible, close the shades and drapes. You can also use low-intensity lightbulbs for normal lighting and use the desk lamp as task lighting.
3. Reduce Glare
The light can reflect off various finished surfaces and create a glare. When that happens, you’re likely to experience eyestrain.
To avoid computer eye strain, consider installing anti-glare films on your screens. It might also be best to paint the white walls with a neutral color. Though this is an expense you might not want right now, it can help in the long run.
4. Upgrade the Display
Your computer and eyestrain are tied together and could create nearsightedness. You can replace your old-style monitor with a flat-panel screen. Old-fashioned screens are notorious for the flicker of images, which can cause eyestrain. Even if you don’t notice it, this can still cause eye fatigue while at work.
5. Adjust the Display Settings on Your Computer
Learning how to reduce computer eye strain means finding the display settings on the computer and adjusting them. Ultimately, when you do that, you can prevent computer eye strain.
- Brightness – Adjust the display’s brightness so that it’s about the same as the workstation surroundings. Look at the white background of this page. It shouldn’t be gray or dull, but it shouldn’t be bright, either.
- Color Temperature – This technical term describes the spectrum of light you can see. Blue light causes more eyestrain than red or orange. You can reduce the color temperature to lower blue light for more comfort.
- Text Size/Contrast – You can adjust the contrast and text size based on what you’re doing. Typically, a black print with a white background is ideal.
6. Blink More
If you want to avoid computer eye strain, remind yourself to blink more often. This moisturizes the eyes to prevent irritation.
When you stare at your screen, you blink fewer times (about 1/3 less than normal). The wetness in the eye evaporates more quickly when you don’t blink, causing irritation. You may also need to use artificial tears (eye drops) to help with this.
7. Exercise the Eyes
It can help to prevent computer eye strain by exercising the eyes. If you’re constantly focused on the screen, it makes them tired. Instead, look away from the screen every 20 minutes, gazing at a distant object for about 20 seconds. Make sure it’s something 20+ feet away. Sometimes called the 20-20-20 rule, it helps you relax the focusing muscle within the eye.
8. Take More Breaks
To avoid computer eye strain, take frequent breaks. Most professionals recommend taking a 10-minute break each hour. During those times, stand up and stretch. Having a standing desk can be beneficial because it acts as a break. Just make sure you’re exercising the eyes and blinking enough while you’re standing.
9. Modify the Workstation
Poor posture is a known cause of computer vision syndrome. Make sure that you have an ergonomic chair, so it’s more comfortable to sit and at the right height for your legs and feet.
Whether you’re using a standing desk or sitting, the height of the desk needs to be at the right position so that the screen is about 20 to 24 inches away from the eyes.
You may also find that you can’t get your monitor to the right height while sitting and standing. If that’s the case, you can always use a monitor arm to lift it to the best position!
In most cases, having the right desk height and chair height are enough to help you. If that doesn’t prevent computer eye strain, you may need to use some of the exercises or change your display. Otherwise, you may want to visit an eye doctor to find out what’s causing the eye strain and get more tips for preventing it.
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