From the young to the old, we spend a lot of time staring at those bright digital displays on our computers, tablets or smartphones. Sadly, prolonged exposure to bright screens is hard on our eyes, causing eye strain. Behold! Here some tips to prevent eye strain!
About 70 percent of adults in the United States have some form of computer eye strain according to a survey by the Vision Council.
C0mputer or digital eye strain does not cause permanent eye damage however the pain and discomfort can affect workplace performance. The symptoms include:
- Twitching around eyes
- Neck aches
- muscle fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Eye irritation (dry eyes, itchy or red eyes)
Here Are 9 Tips To Prevent Computer Eye strain
Now that we know what the symptoms are, here are tips to prevent computer eyestrain:
- Take frequent 'screen breaks' - for instance, you can walk over to the water cooler for a drink, call the person you were going to email instead (if you can)
- Observe the 20-20-20 rule - a rule that states that for every 20 minutes spent looking at the computer screen, spend 20 seconds looking at objects 20 feet from you. This lets your eyes relax, reducing eye strain. You want to make this a habit and can tweak it according to your individual needs
- Adjust the brightness of your screen. The white surface of most computer applications we use increase the strain on your eyes. Turning down the brightness setting can ease eye strain.
- Consider artificial teardrops as prolonged computer use dries out your eyes. They are over the counter (OTC) but your doctor can suggest which one is best for you. Artificial eyedrops are also called lubricating drops. Unlike allergy drops, artificial lubricants do not contain preservatives and can be used as needed. Avoid drops that contain redness reliever as they may worsen dry eye symptoms.
- Improving the air quality around your workspace can help prevent dry eyes, another symptom of eye strain. Some changes include lowering the thermostat or using a humidifier.
- Get appropriate eyewear if you wear vision devices such as eye glasses or contacts. For instance, eye glasses are fitted for reading but may not be good for computer work. You may want to look into getting a pair of computer glasses which are designed to reduce screen glare.
- Keep your distance (‘eye- ergonomics’) Increasing the font of your computer can help. Strive to keep an optimal distance (about a full arms length), from your eyes to the computer screen.
- Posture perfect - The American Optometric Association recommends seating upright, bending your legs at your knees forming a 90 degrees angle and keeping both feet flat on the floor. Proper posture can help correct any minor vision issues as well as reduce or prevent pain in the shoulders, neck or back.
- Lighting can have a positive influence on preventing eye strain. You want to position your computer away direct focus of lighting to prevent glare.