If you're like most people, chances are you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen at work or at home. Unfortunately, this can cause a host of eye related problems. The biggest of which is eyestrain, a condition that can result in headaches, neck pain, dry eyes and other conditions.
Below are five simple and effective ways you can reduce computer eyestrain.
Computer eyestrain is often caused by bright light, either from a nearby window or from interior lights. Strong light sources mean your eyes often have to work harder to focus. Reduce interior lighting near your computer by using fewer light bulbs or switching them off altogether. You may also want to eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. It might mean you'll be missing that great view of the outdoors, but it'll save your eyes some trouble in the long run.
Altering the display settings of your computer monitor or laptop can help dramatically reduce eyestrain. Consider modifying the brightness of the monitor so that it's about the same brightness as the light around your workspace. You should also ensure the text size on your screen is as easy as possible to read. Finally, look at the Colour Temperature of your display. This feature controls the spectrum of visible light emitted by a monitor. Reducing the temperature of your screen from cool tones to warm tones enables your eyes to take in less blue light. The less blue light your vision takes in means that your eyes will be able to work harder without straining as easily.
It may sound strange, but rapid blinking when you're working at a computer has been proven to reduce eyestrain. Blinking moistens your eyes, preventing dryness and irritation. Unfortunately, most people tend to blink less when working on a computer, since we're often so focused on what we're doing. One good rule of thumb is to take a break after 20 minutes and rapidly blink your eyes 10 times, followed by slowly closing your eyes for a few seconds. This tactic could help reduce eye strain.
It's easy to get in the "zone" and lose track of time when working on a computer. Recent studies have indicated that most Canadians rarely give their eyes a chance to rest while in the office, with most of us multitasking between our computers and smartphones. That's why optometrists recommend taking four to five "mini-breaks" during the day in which you spend four or five minutes looking away from a computer. It's also a great chance to get up, walk around, stretch and help your body recover from sitting.
A few simple adjustments to the area around your monitor or laptop could make a huge difference in terms of reducing eyestrain. For example, place written pages on a copy stand next to your monitor. Make sure your monitor is 20 to 24 inches from your eyes and that the centre of the screen is about 10 to 15 degrees below your eye level. This not only reduces eyestrain but can also reduce neck and back pain that's often caused from working at a desk.
As more and more Canadians struggle with computer eyestrain, optometrists have developed technologies that can counteract the effects. That's where computer glasses come into play. Our blue light lens technology enables you to work for longer periods of time in front of a computer without straining your eyes.
To find out more about how you can reduce computer eyestrain, or to learn more about our specialized computer lenses, visit an FYidoctors near you.