Today’s digital world requires many people to spend long hours in front of the computer, whether at home or in the office, but constant exposure to digital devices can negatively impact your visual health. Digital eye strain (also known as computer eye strain or computer vision syndrome) can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms—thankfully, there are several strategies you can use to reduce the effects of eye strain and regain visual strength.
Eye Fatigue Symptoms
While staring at a computer for long periods of time, your eyes must work extra hard to focus on small print, causing you to strain your eyes. Studies also show that individuals blink half as much as they normally would while looking at a screen or handheld device. Symptoms of eye fatigue and strain from prolonged computer use include dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes, and eye twitching.
Computer Eye Strain Relief
There are several steps you can take now to eliminate or reduce symptoms of eye fatigue from prolonged computer use. Make these small adjustments to improve your vision and increase productivity in the workplace.
Get Rid of Harsh Lighting and Glare
Unnecessarily bright outdoor and indoor lighting can overwhelm your eyes and cause eye strain. Reduce interior lighting by closing blinds and drapes and using fewer lightbulbs or fluorescent tubes inside. Eye strain is also caused by glare reflecting off walls and other surfaces (like your computer screen), so you may want to install an anti-glare screen on your display or paint white walls a darker color.
Change Your Computer Display Settings
Brightness, text size, and color temperature all affect your vision. Adjust the brightness of your display to make sure it matches your surrounding area. A white screen background that looks like a light source is likely too bright. You can also change the size of the text to read long documents more comfortably. Lastly, reduce your display’s color temperature to absorb less blue light and more orange and red light. Too much exposure to blue light can contribute to eye strain and may increase your risk of permanent vision loss.
Exercise Your Eyes
Don’t forget to get up and move around. You’ll give your eyes a rest and relieve tension in your body, particularly your neck and back, by taking frequent breaks from your desk. While sitting at your desk, we also recommend looking away from your computer every 20 minutes to gaze at a distant object that’s not your screen. Consciously do blinking exercises to rewet your eyes and make sure they don’t become too dry.
Rely on Vision Therapists
Optometric vision therapy retrains the neuromuscular system and improves processing integration. Individuals who have eye focusing deficiencies learn to properly refocus on near and far objects and sustain their vision for longer periods of time. If you use a computer and experience eye strain, headaches, and discomfort, work with a certified vision therapist at OCVT to reteach your eyes and brain to focus on the objects and text in front of you. These rehabilitative practices, in conjunction with workspace adjustments, will make working on a computer more comfortable and productive.