Whether you use a computer for work, email, playing games, or simply browsing the Web, computer eye strain can happen to you. Commonly caused by focusing on the screen for an extended period of time, the symptoms of this widespread condition can range from eye twitching and blurred vision to physical fatigue and a noticeable decrease in productivity. If you utilize a computer during any part of your daily work or personal life routine, we have provided the following tips for preventing computer eye strain that can help you significantly reduce your risk of developing computer eye strain:
- Conduct eye exercises – When you’ve been focusing on your computer for a while, it’s a good idea to stop what you’re doing and look away from your screen for a bit. By staring at an object in the distance every 20 minutes or so, you give the muscles of your eye a chance to relax and recuperate, both of which can help diminish fatigue. An additional exercise that can be beneficial is staring at something far away for approximately 10-15 seconds and then switching your gaze to something at close-range for the same length of time. By repeating this technique roughly ten times, you can help reduce your risk of developing various focusing issues.
- Make workstation modifications – There are a number of ways you can adjust your workspace to help prevent computer eye strain. Some suggestions include altering the position your monitor, changing your computer’s brightness and text size settings, reducing glare from surrounding light sources, and using a document holder for viewing pieces of paper. For a more detailed explanation of these tips, check out our blog post on how to reduce visual strain in the workplace.
- Blink more frequently – Staring at a computer screen for a prolonged period of time can often dry out your eyes, particularly in dry-air environments. To help prevent this from happening, simply blink more often. When we blink, our eyes receive the moisture they need to reduce dryness and irritation. If you are experiencing these symptoms yet blinking (or even lubricating eye drops) doesn’t seem to be working, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with an experienced eye doctor as you may be experiencing dry eye syndrome.
- Invest in a new monitor – Depending on the size and age of your current computer monitor or laptop, it may be time to invest in a new one. Many newer models come in large sizes and with high definition displays, both of which can help limit eye strain by allowing you to see your screen (and everything on it) easier and more clearly.
- Receive regular eye exams – By scheduling annual exams, you can talk with your eye doctor about any computer-related eye strain you may be experiencing, enabling him or her to effectively treat your specific concern(s) before symptoms compound. Additionally, if you wear glasses or contacts, your eye doctor will be able to detect any changes that have occurred in your current prescription as well as assess any new or worsening vision disorders to determine the appropriate course of action for successful vision correction.
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For more information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled and trained eye doctors, please don’t hesitate to contact The Nielsen Eye Center today.