With everyone using their computer for work eight hours a day and staring at their mobile phone or tablet in between and after office hours, digital eye strain is quickly becoming a common health issue.
Digital eye strain, also known as computer eye strain or computer vision syndrome, refers to a set of eye and vision-related conditions caused by prolonged use of computers, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Symptoms of this condition include eye fatigue and discomfort, blurred vision, dry eyes, red eyes, eye twitching, and headaches. Neck and shoulder pain are common complaints, as well.
These symptoms are often caused by prolonged exposure to the glare of digital screens, poor lighting, incorrect viewing distance, poor sitting posture, and existing vision problems. These can also be the result of a combination of any of these factors.
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Relieving and Minimizing the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain
Staring at monitors and screens are already part of everyday life, avoiding the use of devices entirely is not the best solution to prevent computer eye strain.
Below are some tips that will help you reduce and ease digital eye strain:
1. Consider getting computer glasses
If you wear glasses, consider updating your glass frames in Dubai (or wherever you are located) and having them fitted with lenses that protect your eyes from computer glare.
Computer glasses are prescription glasses that are designed to help your eyes focus on a computer screen. When you can see what you are reading on the monitor from the right distance, you can avoid straining your eyes.
You can have computer glasses made if you normally wear contact lenses, which often become dry and uncomfortable during extended screen time. You can put the glasses on when you are working at home or the office.
You can also have glasses fitted with photochromic or transition lenses or lightly tinted ones since these minimize your exposure to the harmful blue light emitted by computer screens.
Another option would be to get lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. This feature also reduces glare since it minimizes the amount of light reflected by your glasses.
|Read also: [Blue Light Blocking Glasses] Eye Protection and Other Health Benefits|
2. Tweak the display settings of your screen
There are also a few things you can do to your computer that can help you avoid eye strain and fatigue. These include:
- Adjusting the brightness of your screen so that the display is similar to the quality of illumination of your surrounding workstation.
- Lowering the color temperature of your monitor to reduce the amount of blue light it emits.
- Increasing the font size in your settings to have an easier time reading text.
- Adjusting the contrast in the black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort and ease of reading
3. Work in a properly-lit room
In most instances, eye strain is caused by an excessively bright light coming from outdoor sunlight or harsh interior lighting.
You can avoid this by working in a room that has ambient lighting about half as bright as what is usually found in offices.
To make your workspace more eye or vision-friendly, get rid of overtly bright exterior light by closing the drapes or blinds. If you are bothered by white or light-colored walls, have these painted or covered with wallpaper that has a darker, soothing color.
Additionally, soften interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or tubes. Another option would be to switch to a lower intensity and dimmable fixtures.
Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting is another option you can consider. They emit a light spectrum similar to that radiated by sunlight. As long as you choose the right wattage, the brightness will be more suitable for computer work than regular fluorescent tubes.
Lastly, if your computer is in front of a window, rearrange your office and place your desk beside it. This will help you avoid the glare coming from this fixture. However, do not put your workstation directly under overhead fluorescent lights since the brightness can put a strain on your eyes, as well.
4. Give your eyes frequent breaks
To minimize the effects of staring too long at a computer screen, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This entails staring at an object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
This simple rule will help you exercise your eyes and give them a break from your monitor’s bright backlight.
Additionally, remember to blink frequently. When you do this more often, you moisten your eyes and minimize dryness and irritation.
Aside from looking away from your screen more often, step away from your workstation for at least 10 minutes every hour. By doing so, you give your eyes time to relax and, at the same time, you get to stretch your legs, back, arms, and shoulders, which can reduce and muscle fatigue.
5. Get an eye exam
If you are starting to feel the symptoms of digital eye strain, consult an ophthalmologist immediately. By doing so, you will be given the right treatment program that will help you prevent the conditions from worsening.
Make it a habit to undergo a routine comprehensive eye exam every year, as well. This is the most crucial step you can take to avoid or treat computer vision problems.
|Good Read: Are Yearly Eye Exams Really Needed?|
Before going for your checkup, measure how far you normally sit from your screen. Note this down and give this to your doctor so that he or she can test your eyes at your usual working distance.
Finally, make sure you tell your eye doctor how often you use your computer and other mobile devices every day.
By following these tips, you will avoid overusing your sense of sight. You will have better eye health overall, as well.
About The Author:
Firas Saab is an enthusiastic trainer with more than a decade in the retail and optical industry and loves to share his experience and help others to succeed in selling. He has recently acquired HND in Business and Management in addition to his Optical qualifications despite the work responsibilities; he believes in no excuses to succeed. Firas is an energetic speaker with merit in Toastmasters International. Before being a training manager, Firas has occupied different positions that helped him to create a guideline for a Successful Team & helped built a Leadership course that can help potential people to unlock their capabilities to achieve and inspire.