People who use these electronic devices frequently complain of eye strain. There are many reasons, symptoms and preventive measures to take against this complaint, and we will be discussing them in this article.
What is Eye Strain?
An eye strain is a condition where your eyes get tired from intense and prolong use. As we use screens for just about all our daily activities, the eye is bound to feel tired and dry.
In general, any discomfort caused by staring at something for an extended period is an eye strain. In this case, the object being stared at is a computer screen. Although eye strains are quite uncomfortable, they are usually not that serious. With a few steps, you can prevent them.
How do Computers Cause Eye Strains?
On a typical day, humans blink about 10 to 20 times every minute. Blinking helps to spread tears evenly over our eyes, which prevents them from getting irritated and dry. However, when most people read or work on a computer, they tend to blink far lesser than they usually do, leading to eye strains.
The flickering of the screen, contrasts of backgrounds, and glare can also be challenging for the eye to adjust to.
What are the Symptoms of an Eye Strain?
The common symptoms that most computer users complain of include;
- Water Eyes
- Blurred and Double Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Sore, Burning or Itchy Eyes
- Eye Discomfort
- Difficulty Focusing
- Increased Light Sensitivity
- Neck and Shoulder Pain
- Eye Twitching
What to do to Reduce Eye Strains?
1. Go for an Eye Test
If you have noticed any of the symptoms of eye strain, then an examination is crucial for comfortable vision. A comprehensive eye exam will not only help to resolve your complaints, but it’ll also provide a broad assessment of your eyes for symptoms of other medical conditions.
Remember to let your optometrist know how often you use your computer at home and work. Measure the distance you sit from the screen so that the doctor can test your eyes at that working distance.
The 1992 Health and Safety Regulations mandates that employees with visual display units must be provided with a funded eye examination when requested.
2. Reduce Glare
Glare from reflecting light may also cause a computer eye strain. An anti-glare screen on your computer should easily resolve this issue. If you wear glasses, buy lenses with a coating of anti-reflective. You could also reduce glare by using a computer hood or painting bright colours in your workspace with dark colours.
3. Rest and Exercise your Eyes
The easiest thing to do in combatting eye strain is to rest your eyes. From time to time, take a look away from the screen and focus on close and distant objects. This activity relaxes the muscles in your eyes. During the process of relaxing and exercising your eyes, remember to blink regularly.
4. Use Proper Lighting
Eye strains are caused by too much sunlight from your window or bright lighting of your room. When using a computer, your lighting should be half as bright as that of most offices. It is also a good practice to keep your computer screen to a side, rather than directly in front of you. If possible, use only the floor lamps and switch off the fluorescent lights in your workspace. Floor lamps provide soft LED light instead.
5. Adjust your Display Settings
Adjusting your display setting reduces fatigue and eye strain.
- The brightness should be put at the same level as your surrounding work area. Adjust the size and contrast of the text, and use black on white background.
- Keep the colour temperature in check as well. Blue light, which is a wavelength-visible light associated with eye strain, should be reduced to the minimum. The best way to go about reducing this wavelength of light is by using blue light glasses.
6. Modify your Work Area
A few changes to your workstation can reduce the discomfort you experience from eye strains.
- Ensure that your chair and workstation are at the right height. If you need to look down at documents and look back up at your screen often, make sure to get a copy stand next to your screen you can place your documents on.
- Don’t sit too far or too close to the computer screen. Ideally, the screen should be 20 to 24 inches away from your eyes and titled to about 10 to 15 degrees from your eye line.
7. Wear Glasses for Computers
There is a wide range of VDU and computer glasses that reduce eye strains while working. In the UK, these computer glasses could be customized and are a good choice if you use progressive lenses or bifocals.
In conclusion, a computer eye strain is not so much of a serious problem. Try out several points listed above to eliminate this problem and bring comfort back to your vision.