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How to avoid eye strain from screens

Last Modified: November 08, 2023

Safety & Prevention

eye strain

After spending a day working on a computer do you ever notice your eyes hurting or feeling tired? Do you have blurry vision, headaches or neck pain? You may be experiencing eye strain. It’s a common condition that is brought on by intense use of your eyes such as while driving long distances, reading or using digital screens like on your computer and mobile devices. Screens are a part of our everyday lives, so not using them isn’t really an option, but there are helpful things you can do to decrease the strain on your eyes while you work.

Tips for reducing eye strain from screens

Take a break

If your body feels fatigued and tired, you take a break, right? Your eyes also need breaks to rest and recover. Moderate these screen-free breaks using the 20/20/20 rule:

  • Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Use notifications or alarms on your phone or computer to remind yourself when to take these breaks.

Blink often

Blinking helps to keep our eyes hydrated. When using computers, many people tend to blink less often, which can dry out their eyes.

Adjust your monitor or screen

Correct placement of your computer monitor allows your eyes to work without as much effort and can decrease the amount the eyes need to move or readjust.

  • Height – the top of your screen should be level with your eyes (or a little lower if you have bifocals)
  • Distance – position your monitor about an arm’s reach in front of you
  • Cell phones – hold more up in front of your face to avoid looking all the way down

Avoid glare on your screen

There are a few options to reduce the amount of glare on your screen. You could try dimming the amount of light in the room with curtains, changing the position of your desk in relation to the window (avoiding having a window directly behind you), or using a desktop lamp in a position that causes less glare. If none of those options work, try adding an anti-glare screen to your monitor.

Use document or cell phone holders

Holders will keep your papers or cell phone propped up, which helps decrease the amount you must look down or readjust. This can help with your eye strain and decrease stress in your neck by helping improve your posture.

While there are many causes of eye strain, fixing your workstation can go a long way in improving your symptoms.

Stay on top of your health and see your optometrist and health care provider at least once a year, stay hydrated, eat well-balanced meals, avoid toxins (like smoking or UV light), and get enough rest/sleep. To learn more about how to better take care of not only your eyes, but all of you, too, contact your Parkview team today.

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