Many of us spend long hours in front of a computer screen. For some, it’s related to work, for some it’s to play games or watch video content, and for some it’s a combination of both.
For whatever reason, long hours looking at a computer screen can be detrimental to our eyes.
Symptoms of Eye Strain
Unsure if you suffer from eye strain related to your computer use? Here are a few of the common symptoms:
Eye twitches, headaches, blurred or double vision, tired, dry or watery, itchy, burning, fatigue, nausea, lack of concentration. The symptoms are usually experienced when working on the computer for a long period of time.
There are many ways to protect yourself from eye strain. An antiglare protector over your screen can cut some of the reflected light, reducing some of the strain. Another way to protect eyes is to make sure you keep them in optimal health.
Eat a healthy balanced diet, protect them from the glare outside by wearing sunglasses with UV protection, and see an eye professional to check eye health periodically.
As with our bodies, our eyes can also benefit from exercise. One exercise is to roll them clockwise and counterclockwise for ten repetitions each way. Alternate looking right and left and up and down.
Stare at something close, like your finger, and then focus on something in the distance. These exercises will all help strengthen your eyes and relieve strain.
Tips for Protecting Your Eyes
- Take breaks from the computer throughout the day
- Increase the font size on your screen by holding “CTRL and +” or “CTRL and use the scroll wheel on the mouse to adjust font size”
- Periodically focus on something in the distance to reduce strain on eye muscles
- Use a flat panel monitor which is easier on eyes
- Do eye exercises to strengthen eyes
- Wear glasses if prescribed
Strategies for Prevention
Take breaks. Your body and your eyes will thank you for getting up and stretching every hour. When working, occasionally close them or focus on an object in the distance. This works to relax the muscles in the eyes.
If you have prescription eyeglasses for use when reading, wear them. When concentrating, we tend to blink less and eyes can get dry. Ensure that they are lubricated by either using eyedrops or consciously blinking more often.