Computer-related eye strain can lead to several other problems, such as increased physical fatigue, irritability, head and neck pain, errors in work, eye twitching and other long-term conditions such as myopia. Here are ten tips to reduce eye strain due to computers.
Do not work on the computer for very long periods of time without a break. Take breaks periodically, ideally every 20 minutes or so. Relax your eyes during these breaks by focusing them somewhere else, or by looking out of the window.
Strengthen your eyes
Strengthening of your eye muscles will help reduce the amount of strain on your eyes. It is important to perform exercises of the eyes periodically, to achieve this end.
Comprehensive eye exam
When you work extensively on the computer, it is essential to periodically go for a comprehensive eye examination. Tell your eye doctor the amount of time you spend on a computer, and ask him/her to suggest measures to prevent or reduce eye strain.
Use proper lighting
Using proper lighting in your work space helps reduce the amount of eye strain. Ensure that the flow of external light into your work space is not too high or too low. Position your computer in such a way that external light does not hit your eyes directly. Avoid the use of overhead fluorescent lights, and use floor lamps or other modes of lighting instead.
Ensure that light does not reflect off of your computer screen, as this will strain your eyes. If possible, switch to brands of computer screens that reflect less, or to flat screens. It is also a good idea to use an anti-glare filter on your computer screen.
Whenever possible, use anti-reflectory surfaces instead of computers. For instance, work on paper now and then, instead of using your computer.
Adjust your display settings
Study the display settings on your computer, and change them to suit your eyes. Adjust the text size, colour co-ordination and brightness on your computer screen so as to minimise eye strain.
Modify your sitting position
Improper sitting position also intensifies eye strain. It is, therefore, necessary to adjust your chair and table to the correct height, to minimise strain on your eyes. Use furniture that is ergonomic, and position your computer screen at a distance of 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The middle of your computer screen should ideally be 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes, in order for you to work comfortably.
Blink more often
People tend to blink less when they are working for long periods on a computer, thus increasing dryness of the eyes and eye strain. Ideally, turn away from your computer once every 20 minutes, and blink 10 times.
If your symptoms of dry eyes persist, consult an eye doctor and get him/her to prescribe some lubricating drops and/or other measures for you.
Consider computer eye gear
You could also consider getting customised computer eye gear for yourself, to protect your eyes from eye strain.