Computer eye strain has become the norm when it comes to job related complaints. Almost every office or business has a computer and there is no way that they are going to go away soon. This has resulted in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers complaining of having eye strain.
This is further aggravated by additional exposure of the eyes to other gadgets and devices that emit blue light. Blue light sources include TV’s, laptops, tablets, smartphones and LED lights. When you think about it, we are surrounded by these sources almost everywhere we go at all times.
Students are also another group who are experiencing problems with eye fatigue as they are also exposed to computers and gadgets all the time. So much time is spent due to usage for studies, entertainment and social media.
What Is Eye Strain?
Eye strain occurs when the small muscles and nerves of the eyes become stressed from too much use. This can happen to anyone, regardless of age. Our eyes, just like our body can become tired or fatigued.
Symptoms Of Eye Strain
These are the signs that one has developed an eye strain:
-Feeling of heaviness in the forehead and around the eye
-Burning feeling in the eyes
-Headaches behind the eyes, in between the eyes or on the sides of the eyes
-Eye redness, dryness and inflammation
-Pain around the eyes that gets worse with time
-Decreased symptoms when eyes are rested
-Poor vision or double vision
How To Reduce Eye Strain
Get an eye exam. This should be a routine practice, especially for computer workers who are prone to eye strain. Having an eye exam at least once a year is ideal. While taking the eye exam it is best to inform the eye doctor how much time you spend on your computer daily.
Always use proper lighting. One of the causes of eye strain is too much bright light, whether from outdoor or indoor sources. When using a computer, ambient lighting should be half as brighter than that in offices.
Reduce exterior light by closing curtains or blinds. Turn off excess interior light, if not needed.
Eliminate glare. Glare from reflections can also cause eyestrain. There are anti-glare screen monitors available in the market and buying one is a good eye care tip to follow.
Blink more often. Blinking is crucial for computer workers because it moistens the eyes to prevent dryness. Blue light from a computer screen are known to reduce the blinking frequency. There are also dry eye therapy drops available to help in eye lubrication.
Perform eye exercises. Whenever we use our computers we are prone to eye focus fatigue. You can reduce eye strain risk by looking away from your screen on a regular basis at least every 20 minutes. Look at a distant object, at least 20 feet away and fix your gaze on it for at least 20 seconds. Eye doctors call this the “20-20-20” rule. It is a good eye exercise regimen to follow.
Take frequent breaks. To avoid the risk of computer vision syndrome one needs to have more frequent breaks. Two 15-minute breaks are not enough for an 8 hour work schedule. Mini 5-minute breaks of up to 4 times a day has proven beneficial for computer workers according to recent studies from NIOSH. There was no reduction in productivity for those who did these mini breaks. Stretching exercises can be done during your breaks to help in overall health. The eyes are not the only part of the body that is subject to strain when working 8 hours facing a computer and sitting down all the time.
Change your workstation. Having a well thought of workstation can help in reducing eye strain. Desk lamps are better than overhead lighting that can be too bright. Things that you need to read should be placed next to your laptop or monitor. Ergonomic chairs and tables are now the trend in furniture design so it would be a great investment for computer workers in the long run. Posture is also important, as body fatigue can lead to triggering eye strain. Your chairs should be the correct height to give the correct position for you.