How to Avoid Computer Eye Strain

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Ever spent more than two consecutive hours looking at a computer screen? Us too. Computers can make us more productive, but the bad news is that too much screen time can also lead to something called computer vision syndrome (CVS). Recognizable as that tired, strained feeling your eyes get after a day in front of a computer screen, CVS affects some 64% to 90% of office workers.

The condition likely doesn’t cause permanent eye damage, but it can still affect computer users’ comfort. The most common symptoms of CVS include eye strain, redness, irritation or dryness, a burning feeling in the eyes, blurred or double vision after computer use, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.

Several factors increase the likelihood of CVS, including uncorrected vision problems, dry eyes, glares on the screen, poor lighting, poor posture and even the angle of the monitor. Another big factor is incorrect prescriptions: almost 71% of people reporting symptoms of CVS wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

If computer screens are proving a pain in your eyes, here are some guidelines to help ease symptoms:

Have your eyes checked regularly. If you need a new or changed prescription but don’t have it, using a computer will be difficult, period.

Reposition the computer. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of your face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its center is 4 to 8 in. below your eyes, which allows the neck to relax while you read and type.

Follow guidelines for good posture. It’ll reduce strain on the back, neck and shoulders.

Ensure proper lighting. Try the visor test to determine if current lighting is a problem: look at the monitor and cup your hands over your eyes like a baseball cap. If your eyes immediately feel better, then the lighting should be changed. Experiment with brighter and dimmer lighting, as well as the angle of the lights, to find what’s most comfortable for your eyes.

Reduce glare. Installing anti-glare filters on the monitor, adjusting window shades and changing the screen’s contrast and brightness can help reduce glare and reflections.

Blink frequently. It should prevent dry eyes. If that doesn’t work, consider using lubricating eye drops. Also make sure air vents aren’t blowing on your face (this can dry out the eyes), and use a humidifier if the room is super dry.

Take regular work breaks. Stand, stretch or just look off into the distance, away from the computer, every 15 minutes or so to give the eyes a break.

Clean the monitor regularly. Dust can decrease screen sharpness, making the eyes work harder.

Try computer glasses. Unlike everyday eye wear, they’re designed specifically for looking at computer screens.

Consider optometric vision therapy. Some computer users have issues with eye focusing or coordination that aren’t corrected by glasses or contacts. Vision therapy consists of doctor-prescribed activities designed to improve visual functioning (think of it as a workout for the eyes — though no guarantees as to calorie burn).

Thanks to Dr. Dominick Maino, professor of pediatics/binocular vision at the Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry, and Dr. Leonard Press, developmental optometrist at the Vision and Learning Center, for their help with this article.

Have you suffered from computer eye strain? Have any of these tips worked for you? Share in the comments section below!

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14 comments
bamglasses
bamglasses

Do you use reading glasses?  One of the reasons for eyestrain is you need  different level of magnification for reading than you do for your computer screen.  If you use reading glasses you should try Sightline Readers.  These reading glasses feature a progressive power lens that changes the magnification depending where you are looking through the lens.  Basically sightline readers are progressive lens technology made available in a ready-made reading glass.  

simplelife44
simplelife44

Laptops, phones, tv. There are screens all around us. I usually wear these special shades called MelatoninShades. Seriously people, its the blue light that causes eye strain and headaches.

twin2014
twin2014

Reply or Email me to Join in a Group-Buy for Eye-strain relieving Transflective LCD Displays!

One of the main causes of eyestrain using a computer monitor is THE ARTIFICIAL BACKLIGHT that we're staring directly into, plain and simple. Our eyes evolved to take in natural sunlight, not the artificial light sources mass-produced in LCDs. I'm an individual tired of eye-strain and in need of a better solution like many others here and I'm in the process of getting factory quotes to buy Color Transflective LCD Panels (to use as external computer monitors), with about a 19" screen size. This lcd tech. allows you to switch off the backlight and completely use sunlight or ambient light to see the display, similar to e-ink but with the high refresh rates that LCDs offer. Many people find that using devices that use a display type similar to this experience significant reduction in eye-strain and related issues, because the artificial light is eliminated. I'm looking for others that would be interested in going in jointly on a group purchase of these LCD displays with me, because factories require a minimum order quantity for production that individual end users like us are typically not able to purchase by ourselves, and unfortunately these aren't available to just go out and buy at a local store here in the US. If you're interested please post a reply comment or email me. Thanks!

-Tim

Daniel123
Daniel123

I have been working with this problem and trying out different techniques for years, and have found something that really works:
doing a baking soda mask after using the computer. There is plenty of information on this procedure in the internet for beauty purposes, etc., but it works wonders for computer fatigue, eye fatigue after computer use, feeling like a zombie after hours at the computer...

You simply make a paste of baking soda and warm water and apply it to your face. Leave it on for about 5 minutes, maybe a little more, then wash it off. When I do this after hours at the computer, I feel like the tiredness in my face and head is completely lifted away, I feel totally refreshed, like new. The only side effect is that it dries your skin, so it is good to apply some moisturizer on your face afterwards. (I prefer warm sesame oil or warm olive oil for this purpose, as they're much healthier for the face than commercial moisterizers)

Why does this work? Baking soda is known to suck away negative or harmful energies from the body; baking soda, or baking soda/salt, baking soda/epsom salt baths are well-known for this purpose. Not everyone might believe in such an apparently mysterious means of action. This doesn't matter, however, since it works whether one believes in it or not.

Wishing good health, in spite of computer use! :)

DorothyMaeMojica
DorothyMaeMojica

Computer eye strain is very common, especially if you are always in front of your computer. However, you don't have to suffer from this even if it is common as long as you know what to do. It's amazing how computer eye strain was explained here. I would like to share something as well on how to deal with it.

http://newshealthtoday.com/fight-computer-eye-strain/

LynseyEdwards2
LynseyEdwards2

Incase you are among the persons who spend long hours glued to the computer screen, it might worth going for a pair of GUNNAR Advanced Computer Eyewear.

medibird
medibird

thanks for the informations, more requerment are used to using computer, means the space between the chair and pc, the height, color pattern of the screen, many programeers use flip screen nad the rule is dnt hit your eye contiguously on the screen above 15 more minuts,any way thanls read more eye related diseases

Alexxx
Alexxx

I use 100%vision, get100vision.com

Farah Sawalqah
Farah Sawalqah

Thanks, I will try to be more careful about my eyes' health. I have also a problem when sleeping after spending hours on my laptop, I become less focused and more grumpy. I think it might be related to my eyes' nerves or something.

masterdebater
masterdebater

Take breaks by looking somewhere distant and green.

Danyz
Danyz

Good points. I'll never understand why glossy screens seem to be all you can find now. You have to look around to find a matte screen, but it's worth the effort: no annoying reflections and glare. One more tip: look away from the computer screen from time to time to give your eyes a brief break.