It seems everyone is staring at a computer screen, phone or other digital devices these days. Your eyes may feel tired or irritated after focusing intensely on an activity like viewing a computer screen, reading a book, or driving a car for a long period of time. This is known as eyestrain.
Eyestrain is a common condition. It’s becoming even more frequent in this digital age. Eyestrain caused by the use of digital devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets is better known as computer vision syndrome or digital eyestrain. Let’s check the simple tips but useful to avoid the eyestrain.
Use Proper Lighting.
Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window 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.
Position your computer screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it. Try reducing the number of fluorescent tubes installed above your computer workspace if you are bothered by overhead lighting.
Blink More Often.
Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. Tears coating the eye evaporate more rapidly during long non-blinking phases and this can cause dry eyes. Also, the air in many office environments is dry, which can increase how quickly your tears evaporate, placing you at greater risk for dry eye problems.
Exercise Your Eyes
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.”
Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue. It will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.
Use Eye Drops
Intense focus, particularly when viewing a screen, can result in a dramatic reduction in how many times you blink per minute. When you blink less, your eyes can get dry and irritated. You can resolve this with the use of eye drops like artificial tears. You can also try to blink more often when using a screen, which can prevent the symptom from occurring.
Take Frequent Breaks
To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent screen breaks during your workday (at least one 10-minute break every hour). During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.
Manage Your Workstation
If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, place the written pages on a copy stand adjacent to your screen. Poor posture also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height so your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
Maintaining your eye health is key to reducing more serious vision problems in the future. You should see your doctor annually to have your eyes checked, especially if you experience frequent or long-lasting eyestrain.