Many people spend nearly all of their workdays focusing intently on a computer monitor. While computers are invaluable in the business world, this has taken its toll on many people's eyes—focusing on a computer screen causes a considerable amount of eye strain.
Symptoms of eye strain can include dry, itchy eyes as well as blurry vision. Some people also suffer from intense headaches. In order to help with these symptoms and protect your eyes while you're using a computer all day, follow the four tips below.
1. Blink More Often and Use Artificial Tears
When you're focusing intently on a screen, you will naturally begin to blink much less than usual. Blinking your eyes provides the important function of lubricating them with tears, which prevents them from drying out. Since this is a natural reaction, you will have to remember to blink more often while using a computer—this helps avoid your eyes becoming dry and itchy at the end of the day.
You may also want to consider using artificial tears to provide your eyes with extra lubrication, especially if you frequently suffer from dry eyes. A layer of artificial tears on your eyes will help your natural tears lubricate your eyes more effectively.
2. Take Frequent Breaks From Looking at the Screen
Focusing on a computer screen is hard work for your eyes and can often leave you with blurry vision at the end of the day. While you're working, make sure that you take a break from looking at your screen every 20 to 30 minutes. Look at a point that's far away from you in order to let your eyes relax and adjust their focus.
3. Adjust the Position of Your Monitor and Decrease Its Brightness
If you frequently suffer from headaches, adjust the position of your monitor. You should be looking slightly downwards at your monitor rather than upwards at it, which places less strain on the muscles that control the movement of your eyes.
Additionally, you should also turn down the brightness of your monitor. Most monitors are set with their brightness levels too high. When the monitor is brighter than other light sources in the room, it can cause eye strain. Adjust the monitor's brightness until it's dimmer than other light sources in the room while making sure that the screen is still easily readable.
4. Check Your Vision Prescription and Consider Anti-Reflective Glasses
If you haven't updated your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, schedule an appointment at an optometry clinic. When you're not wearing the right prescription for your eyes, they will struggle to focus on the text on your computer screen. Over the course of the day, this can easily lead to eye strain.
During your eye exam, you should also ask your optometrist about anti-reflective glasses. These eyeglasses have a coating applied to the lenses that reduces glare. Glare can quickly become an issue when you're looking at a computer screen, and the bright spots and reflections make it more difficult for your eyes to focus. Switching your prescription eyeglasses to a pair with an anti-reflective coating significantly reduces glare and helps to reduce your screen-related eye strain.
Following the tips above helps keep your eyes from drying out and your vision from becoming blurry at the end of a day spent at work. If you suffer from persistent computer-related vision problems and don't yet have a prescription for glasses or contact lenses, call an optometrist to schedule an appointment—correcting your vision is an important step in preventing computer-related eye strain.