In these modern times, it’s nearly impossible to go even a few hours a day without staring at some sort of electronic screen. Indeed, many of us have jobs that require us to work at computer screens for hours at a time and that can put a real strain on your eyes.
Eye problems caused by constant computer use come under the heading of computer vision syndrome (CVS), which includes a whole range of eye strain and pain. Optometrists often see patients suffering from headaches, dry eyes and blurry vision caused by too much screen time.
Here are 9 ways to reduce computer screen eye strain.
- Try to work with black or dark-coloured text on a white background as much as possible. Documents and websites that have a lot of hard-to-read text on colourful backgrounds can make your eyes work extra hard to read. That, combined with the glare of your computer monitor, is a recipe for eye strain.
- Make sure your monitor is focused. It’s important to adjust the brightness settings to match the amount of light in the room. A screen that’s unfocused and either too bright or too dark, will cause your eyes to become irritated because they are continually trying to adjust to less than ideal conditions.
- Adjust your monitor so that it sits about seven inches below your horizontal line of sight. This reduces eye irritation because it’s a more natural position for reading.
- Use a good quality monitor. A monitor with a refresh rate of at least 60 hertz will reduce flickering, which is one of the leading causes of eye strain.
- Ask about the importance of the 20-20-20 rule the next time you visit your optometrist. Optometrists recommend taking a brief break away from the computer every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds by staring at an object roughly 20 feet away.
- Take a five minute break every hour or so. This trick can help you feel refreshed and reduce muscle fatigue in both your body and your eyes.
- Regularly check your breathing. Computer work can take a lot of concentration and focus. You can help to keep eye strain to a minimum by pausing and taking a few deep breaths and blinking a couple of times.
- Get an anti-reflective screen. The leading cause of eye strain is distracting reflections and glare, which can easily be reduced with the proper equipment.
- Keep eye drops close to where you work. If your eyes are feeling sore and dry, apply a few drops in each eye for instant relief.
Remember, working adults aren’t the only ones who can be affected by CVS. Children who spend a lot of time using tablets or who use computers during the school day can have problems, too. This is especially true is the lighting and their posture are less than ideal.