Do you spend part or all of your workday staring at a computer screen? You are not alone. Seemingly every office-based job in today’s culture requires some form of interaction with a computer, whether you are crunching numbers, writing website code, creating spreadsheets or simply sending and receiving emails. Unfortunately, prolonged computer use can lead to a number of undesirable symptoms, including headaches, eye strain, dry eye, and even neck and shoulder pain. However, you can help to diminish these computer-related discomforts by modifying your workstation and screen-viewing tendencies.
If you are experiencing eye strain and/or other vision issues associated with computer use, or if you want to prevent any of these conditions from occurring, the following suggestions will help reduce visual strain in your workplace:
- Adjust Monitor Position: Situate your computer monitor or laptop where it is close enough for you to comfortably see the screen and read text without having to squint or strain your eyes. Our eye doctors generally recommend keeping about one and a half to three feet between you and your monitor.
- Modify Screen Brightness and Text Size: The brightness of your computer screen should be similar to – if not the same as – the brightness of your office and/or workplace. If your monitor looks like a source of light, it is too bright. You can also increase the size of text on your computer to keep from squinting to read documents, emails and webpages.
- Reduce Glare: Most workplace settings have bright overhead lights. Additionally, some offices may have windows that allow natural light into the room. Depending on the light sources around you, position your monitor so that any glare or reflections are either eliminated or significantly reduced.
- Use a Document Holder: If you are consistently looking back and forth between your computer and print documents on your desk, it may be beneficial to utilize a document holder. This device allows you to position papers at the same distance and level of your screen. Additionally, using a desk lamp to cast light on the documents will help your eyes transition from the brightness of the screen to your papers with less strain.
- Take Breaks: Giving your eyes a chance to rest is as important for your vision as it is for your physical and mental health. Throughout the workday, try to take several breaks to allow your eyes to relax. You can also use this time to get up and walk around, which has proven to help increase productivity and reduce the risk of developing physical discomfort from sitting for extended periods of time.
In addition to these tips, it is also important to receive comprehensive annual eye exams. These annual visits to the eye doctor can be an excellent way to help you reduce and/or prevent any computer-related symptoms, as well as effectively treat any vision disorders contributing to your discomfort.
Contact Our Office
For more information on reducing eye strain in the workplace, or if you are interested in scheduling a consultation with one of our skilled eye doctors, please contact the Nielsen Eye Center today.