As the use of technology rapidly rises across all work fields, working with a computer has become a commonality; most of us use computers at work nowadays. And while the computer is definitely a phenomenal and efficient tool in the office, the #1 work-related complaint is computer eye strain.
Studies show that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of computer workers have been bothered by eye strain and/or a related visual symptom.
Basically, our eyes are overworking.
Luckily, our insightful friends at allaboutvision.com have ten tips on how to relieve computer eye strain.
1. 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. During your exam, be sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at work and at home. Measure how far your eyes are from your screen when you sit at your computer.
2. Use proper lighting. Eye strain is often caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
3. Minimise glare. Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker colour with a matte finish.
4. Upgrade your display. If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers. LCD screens are easier on the eyes whereas old-fashioned CRT screens can cause a noticeable "flicker" of images, which is a major cause of computer eye strain.
5. Adjust your computer display settings. Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, adjusting your brightness, your text size and contrast, and colour temperatures are beneficial to relieving strain.
6. Blink more often. Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. When working at a computer, people blink less frequently (about one-third as often as they normally do) and many blinks performed during computer work are only partial lid closures, according to studies.
7. Exercise your eyes. Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the "20-20-20 rule."
8. Take frequent breaks. Many workers take only two 15-minute breaks from their computer throughout their work day. According to a recent NIOSH study, discomfort and eye strain were significantly reduced when computer workers took four additional five-minute "mini-breaks" throughout their work day.
9. Modify your workstation. If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Place written pages on a copy stand adjacent to the monitor. Light the copy stand properly. You may want to use a desk lamp, but make sure it doesn't shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.
10. Consider computer eyewear. For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customised computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.
Read the tips? Good. Now…have some shut-eye.
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