Workplaces are increasingly becoming more digital. This means many hours looking at a computer screen or gazing down at your mobile devices. Studies have shown that eye strain and its accompanying symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of the workforce.
Complications for repeated eye stress and computer strain include:
Back and neck pain
When you constantly subject yourself to staring at a screen for long periods of time, you strain your eyes in a different manner than when reading a book. Our eyes are drawn in different directions when looking at a computer, which forces us to focus harder and subsequently blink less and lean forward, adding strain to the neck and upper back.
The good news is, simple lifestyle changes and awareness can help minimize computer eye strain.
10 Ways to Avoid Computer Eye Strain
Get a comprehensive eye exam annually
Ask our Optometrists about combating computer eye strain at your next routine eye exam. A simple prescription change can reduce headaches and eye strain if your vision has changed
Use proper lighting
Excessively bright lights from typical office lighting do not help you eyes. Studies suggest that ambient lighting should be about half of what is currently in most offices. Use of blinds or changing away from fluorescent bulbs can ease symptoms of computer eye strain.
Finished surfaces can cause glare that affects our vision. Glasses that have anti-reflective lenses or switching to a newer anti-glare monitor can combat eye strain.
Upgrade your display
Using newer high definition LCD screens have shown to greatly reduce symptoms associated with computer eye strain.. There are apps available to adjust the lighting and contrast of your computer screen or smartphone to ease fatigue.
Adjust computer display settings
Consider adjusting the display settings of your PC or smartphone by reducing the brightness, increasing text size or adjusting the color balance.
Blink more often
A routine suggestion for assisting with dry eyes, is reminding yourself to refocus and blink to rehydrate the eyes. When people are attentively glued to their screens, immersed in their work, they tend to blink less.
Exercise your eyes
Fatigue from constantly focusing and moving our eyes to different parts of a screen can cause headaches. Periodically looking away from the screen and focusing on an object further away than your PC or smartphone can yield great results in reducing eye fatigue.
Take breaks often
Sitting causes a strain on our bodies that we are not meant to endure. Move away from your desk and walk around the office every 2 hours to give your mind and body a break that it sorely needs
Modify your workstation
Adjust the level and distance you sit from across your computer. Ergonomic assessments can be done to configure your ideal seating position to minimize strain.
Consider eyewear specifically for computer use
Discuss with your Optometrist if you should modify your prescription to have a set of contact lenses or glasses for computer use only.