Ways To Minimise Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

Seven Great Ways To Reduce Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

26th February 2024

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In today’s busy world of technology, many of us are required to spend long hours staring at computer screens. Over 70% of computer users have had complaints of eye strain or other bothersome visual problems. These things can diminish productivity, cause us to become physically tired as well as hinder our ability to enjoy many things we love.

Computer eye strain (computer vision syndrome) can bring on headaches, dizziness and overall tiredness. Computer Vision Syndrome has become even more popular with increasing usage of small-screened devices such as smartphones, iPads and the like and does not discriminate by age. Here are a few things you can do to minimise eye strain while working on your computer.

Ways To Minimise Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

Ways To Minimise Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

Get Yearly Eye Examinations

This is the most important thing you can do to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome. By having annual eye examinations, you can address problems as they arise and get the proper evaluation of your work demands and their effects on your eye health. Be sure to tell your eye doctor all the details of your work environment as well as how many hours per day you are required to use a computer both at home and on the job.

Evaluate The Workstation

Ergonomically designed workstations do more than prevent us from getting carpal tunnel syndrome and sore backs. It is highly important to set up your work area so that your computer’s monitor is located 20 to 24 inches away from your eyes with the centre of the screen 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes. By doing this you will minimize the stress on your neck and head.

Use Good Posture

A comfortable office chair is a great investment to maintain good posture while working on our computers. With so many of us using laptops, we can easily forget the value of good posture while kicking back on the sofa. This can place unnecessary strain on our lower backs and necks that can contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome.

Be sure your chair is at the proper height in respect to your desk and be sure to sit up straight with your feet on the floor. Try to be more conscious of slumping shoulders as they can be a direct cause of neck pain and headaches which contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome.

Ways To Minimise Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

Proper Lighting

Excessively bright lights are not recommended for extended computer use. Even direct bright light coming in from a nearby window can aggravate our vision and put unnecessary strain on our eyes. In the office place, harsh lighting can further aggravate our eyes so it’s a good idea, when possible, to take a few simple steps to promote a better computing environment. An antiglare screen can be added over the top of your existing screen for a minimal investment.

If you wear eyeglasses, be sure to include an anti-reflective coating to your lenses, which will more than likely be suggested by your eye doctor. This coating justifies its cost by minimizing the amount of light that is reflected off the surfaces of your lenses. I have been known to even don a pair of sunglasses in highly uncomfortable lighting situations. It DOES help! If your job involves data input from a hard copy next to your computer, use a light source that shines directly on the copy from a slightly high sidewise angle.

If your office environment has windows, try positioning your computer so that the window lighting is on the side of you, not directly in front or in the back of you. You can also take steps to adjust your screen display by making adjustments to the brightness/contrast and display colours.

Exercise Your Eyes

While we are working on computers, we tend to focus too hard as we ‘surf’ from one subject to the next and while we are creating our projects. You may have even noticed that your vision seems to become a little blurry after a while. A good idea to practice is to shift your focus from the computer often. Just simply look away from your computer for a few moments and focus on something in the distance.

By doing this, you will be giving your focusing muscles a rest. Give your eyes a chance to adjust to the new focus area before returning to your computer screen and repeat this as often as possible throughout your working hours.

Blink More Often

While we are focusing on our computer screens we tend to blink a lot less often. This can drastically add to Computer Vision Syndrome in the way of tired and dry eyes. Studies have shown that we blink 5 times less than normal while working on computers. By blinking less and being in an overly dry indoor atmosphere, we are causing uncomfortable strain on our eyes that may leave them red and blur our vision. Make every attempt possible to look away from your computer screen at least every 20 minutes.

A good exercise is to do a series of slow, exaggerated blinks in order to rewet our eyes. Just close your eyes and count to 20, open them, look around and up and down and then close them again, You can further rewet your eyes by using a good rewetting drop throughout the day. I have found that Thera Tears is the BEST!

Ways To Minimise Computer Eye Strain And Fatigue

Take Frequent Breaks

I know that sometimes this is not an option in a structured work environment, but make every attempt to take a break every half hour or so. Not only will this give your eyes a rest, but it will also give your body a chance to stretch out a bit and get the blood flowing to help clear your mind for a better focus.

Tips: Regarding younger children and the use of personal-sized gaming systems or phones – limit usage time and encourage frequent breaks,

Warnings: If you have persistent and bothersome eye strain issues, be sure to consult your physician or eye doctor as they can be symptoms of a more serious problem.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos