7 Tips To Reduce Digital Eye Strain When Working 

A recent study shows that 65% of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eyestrain. The same study reveals that close to 90% of those who experience such issues use digital devices for more than 2 hours each day. When left unchecked, digital eye strain can lead to blurred and double vision in its latter stages. It can also cause dry, red, and irritating eyes, sometimes with frequent headaches. Thankfully, it’s possible to reduce this unhealthy strain on your eyes and maintain a healthy vision while working behind your digital devices. The following tips can help you reduce eye strain or fatigue when working. 

  • Get a comprehensive eye exam

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If you experience recurring cases of eye strain or fatigue, please do not ignore the importance of seeing an eye expert for a comprehensive exam. Even if you don’t experience this discomfort often, experts still recommend getting an eye exam at least once each year if you’re used to sitting behind a computer for hours daily. During your exam, don’t forget to give your eye doctor a detailed explanation of how you feel when you experience eye strain. It’s best to start documenting all your symptoms now so you don’t forget any important details. You’ll also have to tell your doctor how often you use digital devices at work and home, and be sure to follow every instruction your eye doctor gives to the letter.

  • Don’t use your computer near a window

Additional glare and extra light are the biggest factors responsible for worsening eye strain when working behind a computer. If you work near a window, consider moving your workstation a little farther. If that option isn’t available, the next best thing is to close your window curtains or blinds to reduce the intensity of light flooding your workstation. If possible, position your desk so that you don’t face an unshaded window. 

The same applies to work environments with harsh interior lights. Working around a gentle source of light will be more helpful, but if that’s not an option, consider using an anti-glare screen to prevent bright surrounding light from reflecting on your screen and into your eyes. 

  • Get enough shut-eye time

You cannot stress enough how important it is to give your eyes some much-needed rest if you work a lot behind a digital screen. Two types of rest are necessary here. One, getting a good night’s sleep, and two, giving your eyes regular breaks while at work. 

Experts recommend getting seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. This point is non-negotiable if you want to reduce eye strain. Ideally, your bedroom should be dimly lit before sleep time, with no source of harsh lights seeping into your space. Where necessary, consider getting a sleep mask to help shut off strong lights and help you sleep. The less light your eyes have to deal with at night, the more refreshed they will feel when you wake in the morning. Also, please avoid staring at your phone immediately after waking up from bed. Give your eyes a few minutes of extra rest first; your phone can wait. 

When working, remember to blink often to moisten your eyes. Staring at your screen for several minutes without blinking can dry out your eyes, causing eye strain. Also, it helps to give your eyes a few minutes of shut-eye time or a break every 15 to 20 minutes. You can look away from your computer screen for about 20 seconds before resuming. Even better, try closing your eyes instead, especially if your work area is too bright. 

  • Get a pair of computer glasses

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Remember, your vision should last you a lifetime. Experiencing an eye strain is a major sign that you’ve pushed your sight too far, staring at a digital screen. A good pair of computer glasses can lessen the stress on your eyes. It’s better to start wearing computer glasses now rather than using prescription glasses for the rest of your life. 

Your eye doctor can recommend a great pair of computer glasses for you after thoroughly examining your eyesight. You might get glasses with photochromic lenses designed to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful light from your screens. 

  • Upgrade your computer screen

Most modern computers or laptop screens are designed to control how much light the eyes receive. Unfortunately, older screens cause images to flicker, increasing the chances of eye strain. So, if your computer is an older model or has an old-fashioned CTR (cathode ray tubes) screen, consider upgrading your screen to an LCD flat panel. Better still, change your computer if you can afford to. LCD screens do not flicker, so they don’t cause as much eye strain as the old computers. But please keep in mind that spending countless hours behind even an LCD flat panel screen can also affect your eyes and vision long-term, which is why the next point is so important. 

  • Adjust your screen display settings

As mentioned earlier, surrounding light can reflect on your screen and into your eyes. One way you can prevent this is to adjust your screen brightness or display settings so that it’s approximately the same as the brightness surrounding you. Here’s a simple test to help you.

Look at the white background of this page. Is the light from your screen brighter than your surrounding environment? Then, you may have to reduce your screen brightness. Does it look dull compared to your surroundings? If it does, your screen may be too dark. 

You can also adjust your screen contrast and text size for added comfort to your eyes. This point also applies to your phones and other digital devices like your smartphone and tablet.

  • Adjust the height of your monitor 

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Your screen display isn’t the only thing that may need adjusting; pay attention to the height of your monitor, too. Ideally, the center of your monitor screen should be about 5 to 9 inches below the horizontal line of sight. If you’re confused, think of it this way: you should be staring just above your computer screen if you look straight ahead of you. If your eyes meet the center of your screen when you stare straight ahead, your computer is too high. 

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