An estimated 70 percent of Americans suffer from eye strain caused by staring at computers and other digital devices too much throughout the day. Also called Computer Vision Syndrome, symptoms of digital eye strain include:
• Irritated, tired or twitching eyes
• Eye dryness
A few simple changes to your working habits and environment can bring relief from these complications.
Lower the Light
Bright ambient lighting and glare can exacerbate digital eye strain. Use shades or blinds to minimize light coming in from outside, and talk to your boss about switching to more subdued interior lighting. Adjust the settings on your monitor to be bright enough to allow you to focus, but not so bright that you feel like you’re staring into headlights.
Get a Better Monitor
LCD monitors offer a clearer picture and a bigger workspace than old-fashioned CRT models. With a sharper image to look at and more area for spreading out applications on the screen, your eyes are better able to focus without strain. The surface of LCD screens is also less prone to glare, making it easier to maintain a healthy atmosphere for work.
Believe it or not, you blink about one-third less than usual when you’re using a computer. That means you have to make an effort to blink enough to keep your eyes moist and avoid irritation. It might seem weird at first, but your eyes will feel better for it.
Sit in the Right Spot
Regardless of what your personal preference may be for the layout of your office or cubicle, there is such thing as optimal placement for your computer monitor. The US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends sitting 20 to 40 inches away and placing the monitor at a 15- to 20-degree angle below your line of vision.
Look at Something Else
According to the “20-20-20” rule, looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes can help prevent your eye muscles from getting tight and strained. Any eye exercise will work, though, as long as you’re consistent in performing it throughout the day.
Take a Break
Getting up and doing something else for as little as five minutes can help relieve eye strain. Take the opportunity to work out the kinks in your whole body with a few stretches or simple exercises. These “mini breaks” not only help you feel better, but may also increase focus and productivity.
Visit Your Ophthalmologist
Routine trips to the eye doctor are smart whether or not you spend a lot of time working with digital devices. An ophthalmologist can tell you if your daily work routine is causing any problems. Regular checkups are especially important if you wear glasses or contact lenses. Having an outdated prescription can contribute to eye strain and make symptoms worse.
Avoiding digital eye strain with these practices is important for maintaining lifelong eye health. Take steps to preserve your vision now to prevent the development of problems in the future.
CorrectVision Laser Institute is one of Florida’s most advanced vision correction practices with extensive experience in eye health. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world of great vision by offering unparalleled expertise and the most advanced technology available. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our South Florida eye specialists, located in Hollywood, Weston and Pembroke Pines!