Most people spend a portion of their day working behind a computer screen. Prolonged screen time can create eye strain which is characterized by dry, burning, twitching, and red eyes. Here are 4 ways to reduce the risk of developing computer eye strain.
Adjust the Monitor
Simply adjusting the position of a computer monitor can go a long way in relieving eye strain. Optimally, the screen should be 20-30 inches away from eyes, and the top of the monitor should be eye-level, so the user is looking down, rather than up, at the screen.
Additionally, adjust the brightness setting on the monitor to ease eye strain, as the screen may be too bright or too dull. Adjust the brightness so it is about the same brightness as the surrounding work area.
Change the Lighting
Excessive fluorescent lighting or natural lighting can create glare on a computer screen causing unnecessary eye strain. If possible, turn off any fluorescent lights and change the position of the computer so the natural light is not directly hitting the front or back of the computer. Try using a desk or floor lamp on the side of the monitor for the best lighting.
Take a Break
To minimize computer eye strain, take frequent breaks away from the screen. Use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, focus on something at least 20 feet away and stare at it for 20 seconds. It’s also important to take the occasional longer break, especially if a job requires extensive hours behind a computer screen. Try 4 to 6 5-minute breaks spaced throughout the day. During these breaks, stand up and stretch the legs, arms, neck, and back to release muscle tension and strain.
Get an Eye Exam
The best thing to do to treat and prevent computer vision problems is to get a comprehensive eye exam. The doctor should be made aware of the amount of time spent on the computer and looking at the screen each day. A doctor can provide suggestions for proper vision care and test for other vision problems that may cause squinting or straining to see properly.