In today’s world, technology use is present everywhere and with the excessive use of computers in the work setting, eye strain has become a top health concern for those who work in offices.
Specialists predict 5 to 9 out of 10 computer users deal with some form of eyestrain or other effects of computer vision syndrome throughout a workday. Research has shown that fatigue, reduced productivity, and increased work mistakes correlate highly with CVS and eyestrain.
So how can you deal with it? We’ve collected some steps that you should try to lessen computer eyestrain and other computer vision danger signs.
First, you should undergo a computer eye exam. This takes top priority as being the most vital step you can take to fend off computer vision issues. Its actually advised for all people who use computers to have their eyes examined prior to their computer work and every consecutive year afterward. Inform your eye doctor of the frequency and duration of your computer use during all aspects of your life.
Our second piece of advice is to use proper lighting while on your device. Surprisingly enough, bright lighting attributes to eye strain–so sitting by natural light from the sun or vivid indoor lighting can cause eyestrain. When seeking comfort, your lighting needs to be nearly ½ as bright as the lighting typically present in offices.
If you can, you should decrease your amount of fluorescent tubes in your indoor lights or opt to swap out your high-intensity lightbulbs for lower ones. Setting your monitor where the windows are by its side rather than facing toward or away from them can also help. Making sure curtains are drawn or shutting shades and blinds will assist a lot in diminishing sunlight.
Keep glare to a minimum. Wall glares, surface glares, and desktop reflections add to computer eyestrain as well. While anti-glare screens do usually cost a bit more, you should consider purchasing one on your monitor. Darker color walls with a matte finish or also beneficial over white painted walls.
Thinking about buying a computer hood if you’re not able to cover windows.
Apply an anti-reflective coating to your spectacles if you’re a glasses wearer. This coating minimizes how much light bounces off of your front and back surfaces.
Get a newer version of your display. If you haven’t, exchange your old CRT monitor for a flat-panel LCD monitor, same as those on laptops.
Liquid crystal display screens are more gentle on your eyes and most of the time are anti-reflective. Outdated cathode ray tube screens often have flickering images on the desktop. Though this rapid movement can go unnoticed, it still attributes to fatigue and eye strain while working on the computer.
Amplify your screen’s refresh rate to at least 75 hertz to restrict eyestrain if you currently use CRT. This can be altered in your computer’s control panel.
Choose a screen with the highest resolution when deciding on a new display. Usually, lower dot pitches mean higher resolution which displays clearer images. A dot pitch of .28 millimeters or lower is ideal.
Modify your screen’s contrast and brightness. In order to view your screen with more ease, you should check that your computer screen’s brightness is near that of your work area.
If you’re trying to figure out whether or not your screen is too bright, look at the white parts of this page. If it resembles a light then it’s overly bright and if it appears to be a gray or dull tone, then it could possibly not be bright enough.
There should be vivid contrast on your screen, with the background allowing characters to stand out. Text settings play a key role as well and you should ensure that size and color allow for easy viewing. Black on white is the ideal combination most of the time but other combinations with high contrast can also work.
The color temperature of your computer should also be adjusted. A lower color temperature restricts blue light. Blue light is on the shorter wavelength side of the visible light spectrum and causes more damage to the eyes than its longer wavelength counterparts. Orange-ish or red-ish temperatures can decrease blue light substantially.
Blink frequently. You may think that this- being a natural bodily function- is one you can be sure of doing. This isn’t the case though as studies prove that while on the computer, users typically blink nearly a third as frequently as their normal rate. Research goes on to show that a lot of these blinks aren’t actually full closes which factor into drier eyes, blurry vision, irritation of those eyes, and tiredness. Blinking is a simple natural way to ensure that your eyes stay moist, sharp, and relaxed.
There are exercises you can use to rehydrate your eyes. Every third of an hour you should blink ten times and make sure each close is slow. Another popular method is the “20 20 20” rule where you look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, after each 20-minute duration.
A container of artificial tears or eye drops can help as well in keeping your eyes hydrated at work. Your Ophthalmologist can suggest the brands that are best for you.
Eye exercises. If you thought an office job came without exercise, you were mistaken. Your eyes are muscles too and like every muscle in your body, they need to “work out” to maintain strength. Focusing is harder for your eyes when they’re forced to concentrate on computer images for a long period of time.
To lower the danger of focusing fatigue, you should set your attention away from your screen every twenty minutes and stare at a distant figure. Focusing on a farther away area takes the stress away from your eye muscles.
You can also try gazing at a figure for ten to fifteen seconds, then at another closer thing for ten to fifteen seconds, and then back at the first figure. Do ten repetitions. This will lessen the hazard of your eyes fastening up and being unable to refocus while doing excessive computer work.
Take regular rests. You should always rest your eyes consistently during the day. This doesn’t mean taking a nap or closing your eyes for a little bit but rather distancing yourself from your work area to stretch and relax your body. These periods can be quick but you should take them as often as possible as this will decrease your potential for CVS or body pains.
Most people only take the standard 2 quarter-hour breaks in their 8 hour day. Evidence has proven though that these workers would feel substantially more comfort if 4 more five-minute rests were incorporated.
These periodic breaks actually help with your overall engagement and work effort. Speed surprisingly goes up as an effect of these breaks so the amount of work done remains the same despite the additional twenty minutes of breaks.
Ergonomically set up your work area. Constantly moving your focus from a paper to your digital screen is another cause of eyestrain. Reposition the paper to be somewhere adjacent to your monitor. If needed, try using a desk lamp to brighten the material you have to read on paper- but be careful that it doesn’t point at your screen or eyes.
Bad posture while working can also lead to CVS. Alter your work area and seat to a proper height where your feet lay nicely on the ground to your front.
Reposition your seat and computer to where your eyes can be a little under 2 feet away from your monitor. Placing your monitor a bit under your eye peripheral will allow relaxed viewing and comfort for your upper body.
Eyewear optimized for the computer. A specialized glasses prescription can do wonders for your eyes during computer use. These glasses should be made specifically for looking at a computer screen. If your contacts are prone to dryness or discomfort during long computer usage, then this step is even more important for you.
Bifocal or multifocal glasses can also afford to be replaced by the better alternative of computer glasses. There is no specific region on the lenses for timely computer work as opposed to computer glasses who are made specifically for that.
Your ophthalmologist can designate unique eyewear for you personally to wear while looking at your computer monitor. Remember though that these computer glasses are made for just that- computers- and are not meant for wearing while driving or during most other tasks.
Dr. Joseph Cohen O.D.
Woodland Hills Optometrist
Receive an excellent service on a comprehensive eye care
Providing service in English and Farsi for American and Iranian Patients
19737 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201, Woodland Hills, CA 91364