Eye strain from computer use is something many of us suffer from. Whether doing office-work or talking to friends, many spend the better part of the day in front of the computer. This causes excess eye strain which can have a number of side-effects on our health, particularly on our eyes. This article will show you 9 things you can do to relieve eye pain and keep your eyes healthy, even with extended computer use.
Eye Strain from Computer Use: How to Protect Yourself
1. Change Your Screen Settings
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Computer screen settings are not permanent and can be changed, especially if you find your current settings worsen eye strain or cause dizziness. Turn down the brightness, increase or decrease the contrast to whatever levels are comfortable. There are also free programs like f.lux, which you can find online, that automatically adjust the colors of your screen depending on the time of day.
2. Sit Farther Away
Sitting too close to the screen can worsen the symptoms of eye strain. Sit at least 20-30 inches away from the screen to prevent this from happening. If you’re sitting the correct distance from the screen but have a hard time reading the text, you can adjust the font size of the text on the computer screen for easier reading.
3. Give Yourself Breaks
Our eyes are the body parts we use to accomplish a lot of our work. And like any body part, overuse leads to stress and a decrease in function.When you start to feel eye strain, take a break. You can also do the following; close your eyes and listen to music, take a walk outside, or even look at something green (fun fact: green is a calming color for your eyes).
4. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
The 20-20-20 rule means that every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Sometimes, we get so consumed by our work that eye strain is our body’s way of reminding us to get some rest. You don’t have to look at something exactly 20 feet away. Every 20 minutes, just get up and look at something far away, like a cloud or house outside the window. This will give your eyes time to recover.
5. Don’t Look at Other Screens
We have a tendency to take breaks from our work by browsing social media or playing with the apps on our phones. That won’t help your eyes. They might not be computer monitors, but cell phones still have screens that may cause damage to your eyes.
6. Clean Your Monitor
A dusty or dirty screen will make you strain your eyes more, as you try to read the content on your computer. You can buy and use special products to clean your monitor and make it less blurry.
This might seem like a given, but studies have shown that when we stare at computer screens, our eyes are more open than usual. Forgetting to blink worsens eye strain from computer use. Remind yourself to blink regularly when working in front of a computer. Blinking will lessen the dryness in your eyes, and help them function properly.
8. Use Eye Drops
If blinking isn’t enough, you can get eye drops or artificial tears at your local pharmacy to provide more lubricant for your eyes. Homemade ozone eye drops can also relieve eye strain from computer use.
9. Get Special Eyewear
Go to your eye doctor and ask them if you can get special eyewear to improve eye protection. Some eyewear is specially designed to reduce symptoms of eye strain such as blurry vision or headaches.
Watch the video below from CBS This Morning to understand the effects of eye strain, and how to remedy these consequences:
Remember to always visit your doctor for regular eye check-ups. You don’t need to drastically reduce your computer use to avoid eye strain. Follow these 9 easy steps to avoid eye strain from computer use, and to ensure that your eyes remain healthy and problem-free!
Have any tips for reducing eye strain from computer use? Comment them below!