With so many people using computers at work, computer eye strain has become a major complaint. Research shows that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers. These problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes. Here are some easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain:
Look away frequently, or apply the 20-20-20 rule
Eyestrain often occurs when you engage in a single activity for too long without a break. You should shift your focus to something other than the activity every 20 minutes. Whatever you focus on should be 20 feet away, and you should look at it for at least 20 seconds. This is commonly known as the 20-20-20 rule. You should not only look away every 20 minutes, but also make sure to turn away from an intense activity for several hours during the day. If you have to work at a screen or drive a long distance for multiple hours, make sure to balance that activity with some others that demand different uses of your eyes. For instance, take a walk outside in the natural light during your lunch break if you’ve spent the whole morning working on a computer.
Practice relaxation often
When you stare at close distances for long periods of time, you should follow these stretches of time with eye relaxation techniques. You should also try to frequently increase the distance between you and the object you focus on. If you don’t follow these recommended tips, you can overly strain the ciliary muscle of your eye, which are the ones that control the lens during the work of eyesight at a distance. You can also make yourself nearsighted, either temporarily or permanently. The breakdown of the eye muscle changes the ability of your eyes to accommodate and ends up flattening the lenses in your eyes.
Get regular eye tests
If you work on a computer every day, experts recommend having a comprehensive eye exam every year in order to spot problems before they develop. During this test, you should tell the doctor how often you use your phone and your computer. You should also measure the distance from your eyes to your screen at work and inform your doctor about it, so your eyes can be tested at that distance.
Reducing glare will significantly reduce the strain on your eyes. Use non-reflective interfaces whenever possible. One solution can be reading from paper instead of a computer screen. Whenever you have to use a screen make sure it is at a 90 degree angle from any direct light source. Use indirect or reflective lighting whenever possible. Also, try switching your monitor or TV to a flat screen technology as they are not as reflective. Use anti-glare technology as well as anti-glare filter on monitors if you can. Also, use anti-glare glasses when driving or working in general.
Use eye drops
Intense focus, particularly when viewing a screen, can result in a reduction in how many times you blink per minute. When you blink less, your eyes can get dry and irritated. You can resolve this with the use of eye drops like artificial tears. You can also try to blink more often when using a screen, which can prevent the symptom from occurring.
The symptom of eye strain does not result in any damage to the eyes. So, the prognosis is excellent. Relief of eye strain symptoms will usually occur using the above techniques. Once you recognize that your symptoms are caused by eye strain, you can usually modify the task that produces the eye strain sufficiently to reduce or eliminate the eye strain. Make sure to follow these tips whenever you stare at your computer.