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Avoiding Computer Eye Strain

July 20th, 2008


Many jobs these days have workers sitting in front of computer screens all day long. While it’s great to be able to use a computer as a tool to make work faster, easier and more efficient, it doesn’t come without a few drawbacks. Many frequent computer users will notice that their eyes get sore and tired after staring at a screen for hours on end. This phenomenon is called computer eye strain, and can be particularly debilitating, not to mention uncomfortable, for those who do their work on a computer. If you’re looking for a way to prevent and find relief for computer eye strain, here are some tips that can help you.

First, you’ll want to set up your workspace in a way that is most beneficial to your eyes. This means adjusting your screen so that light doesn’t bounce off and create a glare that can irritate your eyes and make the images on the screen harder to see. Some people find that using an anti-glare shield on the screen can also be a big help. If you have your own office, dim the lights so that you reduce the chance of glare and make it easier for eyes to focus on the screen. If you must keep the room lit, try out full spectrum bulbs which are easier on the eyes.

You’ll also want to take good care of your screen itself. Keep it clean and ensure that it’s focused. You can also turn up the contrast on the display so that looking at the screen won’t stress your eyes. Additionally, take note of how far the monitor is from your eyes. Eighteen to thirty inches is ideal.

Of course, you’ll need to focus on caring for your eyes themselves as well. One of the biggest causes of computer eye strain is eye dryness. This is caused by a reduced frequency of blinking. So, when you’re on the computer for long stretches, remind yourself to blink or use eye wetting drops. You’ll also want to give yourself eye breaks about every twenty minutes. To get the most out of these breaks, look away from the screen and focus on something in the distance.

Finally, make sure to get your eyes checked regularly. It could be that your eye strain is the result of an incorrect prescription or one that’s unsuitable for computer work. Only your eye doctor can tell, so don’t be afraid to make an appointment if you’re having trouble.

With more and more of the workforce spending their days on a computer, it’s more important than ever to learn how to protect and care for your eyes while at work. These simple tips and some preventative care from an eye doctor can make your work experience and better and more comfortable one.