Do your eyes feel tired, irritated or dry after spending too much time on your computer? If you spend more than two hours a day on a computer, you may have a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS affects 64% to 90% of all office workers and while it does not cause permanent eye damage, it can be an unpleasant side effect of too much screen time.
CVS symptoms include:
- Eye strain
- Irritation or dryness
You may also experience burning eyes, double or blurred vision, headaches and neck or shoulder pain. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some guidelines and computer eye strain tips to help alleviate these nagging symptoms.
Tips for Eliminating Computer Eye Strain:
- Take a break – Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
- Blink frequently – Do not forget to blink periodically. Staring at computer screens can dry our eyes and cause redness and irritation.
- Keep your monitor bright – This reduces the flicker rate of the computer and reduces fatigue. Flickering can lead to eyestrain and headaches. Also, a bright monitor causes your pupil to constrict, which results in a greater range of focus. This reduces the need for your eye to accommodate and enables you to work longer and with more comfort.
- Use proper lighting – Use bright lighting and avoid high-intensity lamps, which cast shadows and create glare. Place a dim light on either side of your workstation to create equal brightness without dark, shadowed areas.
- Check your monitor’s position – The position of your computer monitor can add to your eyestrain. It is important that it be positioned at the proper distance away from your eyes. Optimally, your computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
- Adjust your screen resolution – Make sure your monitor has a high-resolution display. A higher resolution produces sharper type and crisper images, reducing eye strain.
- Minimize glare – Clean your monitor regularly to remove dust and consider installing an anti-glare screen. It also helps to keep shades drawn to prevent glare from outside sources.
- Try massage or eye cupping – Massaging the area around the eyes will help relax the muscles and can be very comforting. Rub your hands together to create friction and warmth, then gently cup your palms over your closed eyes and rest them.
- Get a comprehensive eye exam – Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems.
- Splash your eyes with water – If you start to feel your eyes burning, head to the restroom, and splash a little cold water over your eyes. Allow the water to slowly dry on its own before heading back to your desk.