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5 Tips to Reduce Eye Strain When Working with Computers

Despite the efforts to promote ergonomics at the workspace, some aspects are overlooked or not taking into consideration.  The number of people spending not only their work time but also their leisure life looking at computer screens and digital devices is dramatically increasing.

According to a study made by the American Optometric Association, the average American with a desk job spends at least seven hours a day looking at computer screens. Not to mention that some creative jobs such as photography, writing, and digital design would increase the number of hours spent in front of a screen. At the same time, this study does not include leisure screen time spent on social media, watching streaming media, reading and so on.  One of the side effects of having such a “modern” lifestyle is that more and more people are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain.

If you wonder whether you are experiencing Digital Eye Strain you can look up for the following symptoms:

  • Tired eyes
  • Strained feeling eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and neck pain

You can reduce digital eye strain without giving up on your lifestyle. By developing and maintaining eye friendly habits and by adjusting your environment, you can give your eyes a break. Check out the following tips to help your visual health.

1. Use correct ambient lighting. In order to reduce some of the strain from the glare of monitors and devices, your ambient lighting should be brighter than the monitor light. Using correct lighting makes a great difference as poor lighting contributes to eye strain.

2. Keep a good posture and alignment. The use of ergonomic workstation helps to reduce eye strain. Keep your monitor at arms’ length and make sure it sits at around 10 degrees below your eyes level.

3. Adjust your monitor settings. With the use of digital devices, we are more exposed to blue light, which is one of the main causes of premature eye aging. You should adapt the colors of your screen or activate the “nighttime” settings to reduce the effect of blue light. Another thing to keep in mind is the contrast for ease of viewing.

4. Give your eyes a break. Even with an optimized workstation, people suffer from eye strain. That’s why it is important to give your eyes a break. A great technique to do so is the 20-20-20 rule: Take a break every 20 minutes, look at a non-digital object that is at least 20 feet away and focus on that object for 20 seconds. In addition, take a 10-minute break every couple of hours to be away from screens.

5. Blink blink blink. According to WebMD, people blink on average 15 times per minute. By spreading tears, blinking keeps eyes lubricated. However, when people use digital devices tend to blink less. To avoid eye dryness, you should make an effort to blink more or consider using artificial tears.  

Furthermore, it is important to periodically visit your optometrist to track your eye health and seek treatment when needed. Remember that prevention is the best way to have a healthy lifestyle and that your working environment should be adapted to you and not the other way around.

Note that we are not medical professsionals and this is not a medical advice. If you have any questions or concers please consult with your specialist.

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