Look Away! 3 Tips for Preventing Computer Eye Strain

 3 Tips for Preventing Computer Eye Strain

Are your eyes straining to see this? For most people who work on computers, screen glare, combined with constant refocusing, leads to computer-related eye problems.

Think about it: If you work on a computer most of the day and follow that up with an evening of using your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop later to check social media, most of your day is spent staring at a screen.

Don’t ignore eye strain. It can cause fatigue and headaches and even make you more prone to mistakes at work. Try out these tips to alleviate computer eye strain.

1. Take breaks

Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer screen at an object that’s at least 20 feet away, and keep your gaze there for at least 20 seconds. This will give the focusing muscles inside your eyes a chance to rest.

When you take breaks, make them screen breaks, too. Instead of staring at Facebook, have tea with a coworker, take a walk outside or read a magazine.

2. Create an eye-friendly workstation

Improper posture contributes to computer eye strain, and a few simple adjustments can help relieve the strain. First, be sure your chair is at the right height: When you’re seated, your eyes should be 20 to 30 inches away from your computer screen, and the center of the screen should be 10 to 15 degrees below eye level.

Lowering interior lighting and avoiding direct exterior light can also help reduce eye strain. Another quick fix is to adjust your computer settings — including brightness, text size, contrast and color — so they’re comfortable for you. Ask someone in IT for help if you need it.

3. Practice good eye habits

Most people don’t blink as often as they should when looking at a computer screen. To moisten your eyes, try to blink more frequently. For example, when you take that 20-20-20 break, blink a few times while you’re looking away from your computer.

A big part of preventing problems from causing long-term damage is seeing your eye doctor at least once per year. An annual eye checkup can help you prevent and treat eye problems like computer eye strain. Be sure your doctor knows if you work on a computer all day. And ask about options like computer glasses that may help relieve eye strain.

If you experience computer eye strain, how do you cope with it? Let us know in the comments section.

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