Computers are now an essential aspect of daily life. Like most people, you likely use computers every day both for work and for leisure. You respond to work emails using your laptop or desktop computer. You browse through social media and shop online using your smartphone. You may even use a tablet to read ebooks.
It’s undeniable that there are many benefits to using computers. Computers make life easier by speeding up our work, simplifying communication, and streamlining many important processes.
As beneficial as computers are, though, they also cause one common problem: computer eye strain.
Computer eye strain: a definition
Computer eye strain is also known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome (CVS). It’s a set of symptoms that people experience from their prolonged use of computers, smartphones, and other similar devices.
Symptoms of computer eye strain include (but are not limited to):
- Eye dryness
- Eye redness
- Eye itchiness
- Eye pain or irritation
- Blurry vision
Computer eye strain is a common problem worldwide, and any individual who uses regularly uses computers can experience it. A study shows that computer eye strain affects around 60 million people across the globe.
Tips to relieve computer eye strain
Although computer eye strain is quite common, the good news is that you can easily relieve and prevent its symptoms. If you are currently experiencing computer eye strain, here are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms.
- Turn down your lights.
By spending prolonged periods looking at your computer screen, you expose yourself to significant amounts of blue light. Blue light exposure is one of the causes of computer eye strain. As such, you don’t want to unnecessarily expose yourself to more light.
Turn down the lights in the room whenever you’re in front of your computer. If possible, turn off all the lights in the room except one. Turn on only the light that’s positioned behind you and your computer. This way, the light isn’t shining directly into your face and eyes, which can worsen your computer eye strain.
- Adjust the screen settings on your computer.
An effective way to relieve and prevent computer eye strain is to adjust your computer’s screen settings to make it more eye-friendly. Here are some tips:
- Monitor position
Many people don’t realize it, but the position of your monitor actually affects the eyes. Position your computer monitor so that it’s between 20 and 30 inches away from your face. For ergonomic viewing, the top of the monitor should be eye level. This way, you don’t have to tilt your head up or down when looking at your screen.
The right brightness setting won’t be the same for everyone. It depends on what you can see on your screen and what your eyes feel comfortable with. A good rule of thumb to follow is that your computer screen shouldn’t look like a light source if you were far away from it.
You might have to try out a few different brightness settings to figure out which one is best for you. The key is to adjust your screen so that it isn’t too bright that it looks like a light, but also not too dim that it becomes difficult for you to read what’s on screen.
- Color temperature
Browse through your computer screen settings and you’ll likely see an option to adjust the color temperature. Adjusting color temperature means fine-tuning the levels of red, green, and blue colors on your screen. Make the color temperature more eye-friendly by making it warmer. This means increasing the levels of red and green while decreasing the level of blue. If your computer allows you to select temperatures like “normal”, “cool”, and “warm”, choose warm. This way, you don’t have to manually adjust each color level.
- Take regular breaks.
Rest your eyes at regular intervals when using a computer. The best method of resting your eyes is the 20-20-20 rule. Optometrist Jeffrey Anshel developed the 20-20-20 rule to help people relieve and prevent computer eye strain.
Following the 20-20-20 rule is simple. Every 20 minutes, you have to rest your eyes and turn them away from your computer screen. Then, you have to focus your eyes on a distant object that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Use lubricating eye drops or artificial tears.
One of the first and most common symptoms of computer eye strain is eye dryness. You can effectively relieve the symptoms of dry eyes by using lubricating eye drops or artificial tears.
Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears moisturize the eyes and provide relief from dry eyes caused by computer eye strain. These products contain some of the same elements you can find in your tears.
You can buy these eye drops without a prescription. They are safe to use as long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. There are many brands available, and they all contain different ingredients. One brand may be effective for a certain individual but not for you, and vice versa. you may have to try out a few different ones to figure out which one works best for you.
Your work is likely dependent on using a computer and much of what you do every day also involves computers. As such, it would be virtually impossible for you to stop using computers altogether.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to live with computer eye strain for the rest of your life. You can relieve and prevent the symptoms of computer eye strain by simply following the advice in this post.
Just keep in mind that the information in this post isn’t meant to replace the advice of a licensed eye care professional. If you’re still experiencing computer eye strain despite following our advice, consult your eye care professional immediately.
Jericho Gonzales is a Content Marketing Specialist at Lens.com. Writing is his passion, and he specializes in tech-based and consumer product-based writing. His other passions lie in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. When he isn’t busy with wordcraft, he loves to immerse himself in those worlds through novels, video games, TV shows, or movies.