With the increasing use of computers in our day-to-day life, computer eye strain has become one of the major health complaints. Even among office-related health problems, computer eye strain ranks high. Computer eye strain is also known as computer related eye strain (CRES) or computer vision strain (CVS).
Causes of computer eye strain
- Distance between monitor and your eyes
- Angular position of the monitor in comparison to your site line
- Image brightness on the monitor
- Image contrast on the monitor
- Image size
- Image and background color on the monitor
- Image quality related to resolution, screen refresh rates and focus of the screen
- An incorrect eye sight correction
- Room’s ambiance i.e. illumination, air conditioning, etc.
- Other eye problems like dry eyes
Some of the above causes can be easily adjusted by you, while others are hardware and environmental conditions related.
Symptoms of Computer Eye Strain
- Unstable “flickering” image
- Difficulty in maintaining clear focus on the screen image also known as Pseudomyopia
- Blurred distant vision after looking at the monitor
- Sandy and dry feeling in the eye
- Increased light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Tension and aching in the forehead and brow region
- Mild to severe headache
- Consistent neck pain
Remedies and Mitigations
A few simple adjustments in your work habits can help you reduce CRES or CVS symptoms.
Here are a few simple tips which will help you reduce your eyestrain symptoms.
Take frequent breaks:
Try to take a few small breaks to rest your eyes. During this break, try to focus on something except your monitor. You can even follow this exercise for your eyes: hold one of your fingers a few inches away in front of your face. Concentrate on the finger as you move it away slowly. Now concentrate on something far in the distance and then on the finger. Now slowly bring back the finger back towards your face again. You can repeat this exercise three or more times a day.
Change your work pace:
At least once in every hour try to move around, lean back, and close your eyes for a few moments. At least this will give your eyes a break and during this break you can also do other work like phone calls or filling any documents etc.
To refresh your eyes blink often:
It is observed that while working on computer many people blink less as compared to the normal conditions. Prolonged computer use with reduced blinking rates may lead to dry eye condition. Basically the blinking process keeps your eyes moist and lubricated. So make an effort to blink more often.
Try using Artificial Teardrops:
To relieve dry eye symptoms you can try using over the counter artificial tears available in the market.
Practice relaxation while at work:
Try this exercise to relax your muscle tension. Firstly on your desk, place your elbows in such a way that your palms are facing upwards. Put your weight forward and let your head fall into your hands. Rest your head on your palms in such a way that your eyebrows rest on the base of your palm and fingers extended towards your forehead. Close your eyes and take a deep breath, hold it for a few moments and then release it. Continue this process of deep breathing for at least 15-20 minutes. You can perform this exercise several times a day.
Use appropriate eyewear:
If you are using glasses or contact lenses then make sure that correction is suitable for the computer work. It is advisable to use eyewear that is specially made for the computer work.
Put your workplace in order
By making some appropriate changes in your workplace you can make your desk space eye-friendly. Here are a few useful tips that will make your workplace eye-friendly.
Adjusting your monitor:
Position of your monitor should be directly in front of you at a distance about 20-28 inches from your eyes. Even if the monitor is at arm’s length it’s fine.
Position your keyboard properly:
Keep your keyword in front of your monitor.
Keep your all reference material nearby:
Keep all your reference and reading material in a document holder at the side of your monitor, at a small level, distance and angle as your monitor is from your eyes.
Reduce glare and check lighting of the room:
Too much of glare and bright light can strain your eyes. Place your computer monitor in such a way that the light source is not all on your monitor.
Keep your monitor clean:
Regularly wipe your monitor as dust particles may add to the reflection and glare problem.
Even after following above tips if the symptoms still persist, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.
Computer eye strain is a common problem that can affect your eyesight. To learn about more effective tips to ease this condition, please read our related article Do You Have Computer Eye Strain?