Studies have revealed that about 60-90% of workers who use desktops have complaints of fatigue, computer eye strain, red eyes and twitching. Since our lifestyles have changed, we must take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of eye strain due to long hours of work in front of the computer.
The following 10-point guide will help you manage computer induced eye tiredness effectively.
1. Use Proper Lighting
One of the main causes of eye strain is bright lighting. Sunlight penetrating through the windows could distort the lighting in your workspace. It is important to eliminate bright natural lighting by using blinds, shades or curtains.
Your workspace must use low intensity bulbs or fluorescent tubes to reduce the risk of eye strain. Direct overhead lighting can also affect the eye. Hence, try and position your computer screen away from direct lighting.
2. Adjust Display Settings
The display settings of your monitor such as brightness, contrast and text size play a huge role in causing eye strain. Bright screens are hard on the eye. It is better to reduce the brightness and increase the contrast of your screen.
The brightness of your screen must equal the brightness of your surroundings. There must be enough contrast between the black and white pixels on the screen so that the eye can distinguish between various elements.
Adjust the text size for comfortable reading. If you are straining your eyes while reading long documents then, increase your text size.
3. Eliminate Glare
Bright white walls and outdoor lighting can cause glares on your computer screen. Consider purchasing an anti-glare screen for your monitor which will reduce the reflection from bright light source. You can also try and change the color of your interior walls to darker shades, to minimize glares.
If you wear eye glasses, consider using glasses with anti-reflective coating that reduces glare.
4, Eliminate Electrostatic Particles
The electrostatic particles from the screen attract dust and this causes eye irritations. It is important to place the monitor at a good distance to avoid strain. Wiping down the screen with anti-static solution everyday can eliminate this hazard.
5. Position And Angle
It is important to position your monitor at least 45-70 cms away from you. Your eyes get tired when you look at screens that are very close. It strains the ciliary muscle that helps in contracting the lens of your eye.
The top of your monitor should always be at an angle slightly lower than your eye level for a comfortable posture while working. This angle will keep your spine in a natural position which won’t add any excess strain.
6. Take Frequent Breaks
In order to reduce the risk of eye strain and general fatigue, it is advised that people who work on computers take breaks more frequently. Studies have shown that discomfort and eye strain significantly reduced among workers who took periodic breaks of 5 minutes every hour.
During your breaks stretch yourself and try the eye exercises to counter muscle fatigue and tension.
7. Blink More Often
When you are focusing on something, your eyes blink less than usual. Hence, while you are busy working, your eyes fail to blink as often as required which strains the eyes.
Blinking helps your eyes to stay hydrated and prevents dryness and irritation. Make it a habit to consciously blink your eyes when you take breaks. It is recommended that you blink at least 10 times every 20 minutes to relax your eye muscles.
8. Exercises For Your Eyes
Exercising your eyes helps you reduce fatigue caused by constant focusing. One of the key exercises to follow to reduce the risk of tiring your eyes is to look away from the screen every 20 minutes. This exercise is called the “20-20-20” rule.
The user must look at any object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This exercise helps relax the focusing muscles in the eye.
Another exercise that will relax your eyes is to roll them clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Repeat this for 5 times and blink after each set.
9. Use High Resolution Monitor
Invest in a new high resolution monitor that has better refresh rates. Choose a flat panel display with dot pitch of .28mm or smaller to reduce eye strain. Older monitors flicker more causing your eyes to readjust more often.
LCD screens are easier on the eyes and most of them come with an anti-reflective surface. It is also better to get a large display of at least 17 inches for desktop computers.
10. Try Using A Computer Eyewear
Users who wear contact lens for the eyes must consult their optometrist to get eyewear customized for computer use. Bi-focal lens may cause you to sit in awkward positions. Hence, it might be good to switch to progressive lens.
Even if you do not wear glasses for vision correction, consult an optometrist to get an eyewear with anti-reflective coating that cuts down the glare and helps in reducing computer eye strain.