Contributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
If reading this is giving you headache, it’s not the content – it could be your computer.
Eye strain manifests itself as redness, blurred vision, dryness and fatigue. Ophthalmologists tell us that spending too much time in front of a computer screen or staring too long at a little cell phone screen can cause it, not to mention bright light, tiny print and sitting in the really cheap seats at a concert.
Before you start rubbing, try these top ten ways to avoid eye strain.
10. Move your monitor
Staring at a computer screen causes you to blink less often and keep your eyes wide open, causing dryness in them. By lowering the computer monitor to below eye level, your eyes don’t need to be as open to see it and they’ll get more lubrication.
9. Take a break
Whether it looking too long at a computer or printed reading material, taking a break will relax the tense muscles in and around your eyes. Stand up, go for a walk, look off into the distance and rub your temples for a few minutes. A few minutes in the dark helps too, whether it’s a dark room or just sitting with your hands lightly covering your eyes.
8. Adjust the workstation
Computer screens have adjustments to change the size of letters, brightness and color intensity. These are usually located on the screen, on the monitor or on the keyboard. Try a few until you find the one that’s best for you, and don’t forget to remember the settings.
7. Switch to paper
If it’s not too many pages, print off what’s on the screen and read it on paper. You’ll have less glare, you can make the print bigger and you can hold the pages in a comfortable position to reduce strain in your eyes as well as your neck and back.
6. Wear computer glasses
Computer eyeglasses designed especially for people who spend a lot of time looking at a monitor are now available. After an eye exam, ask your eye doctor or a vision professional for recommendations. Depending on your specific needs, you may be directed towards different fields of vision, coatings or tints.
5. Change your lighting
Eye strain can be caused by bright lights or lights that are positioned incorrectly. Turn overhead lights down, move desk lamps around and adjust the blinds or shades to dim direct sunlight. Natural light fluorescent bulbs can also help.
4. Cut down on glare
Glare on computer monitors can be reduced with anti-glare screens, but your eyes can also be affected by glare from shiny walls and windows. If possible, paint walls a darker color with a matte finish and cover windows with anti-glare coatings. As an alternative, where eyeglasses with anti-glare coating on the lenses.
One of the easiest ways to avoid eye strain is to make a conscious effort to blink more often. Keeping your eyes open too long dries them out, as does the air in many offices. If extra blinking isn’t enough, ask your eye doctor to recommend some lubricating eye drops or artificial tears.
2. Exercise your eyes
Exercising your eyes often gives them a break from strain as well as keeps them in focus. Every 20 minutes or so, turn away from what you’re doing and look at an object about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Another good exercise it to look at a distant object for 15 seconds, then one close-up for 15 seconds. Do each ten times before going back to work.
1. Take care of yourself
Our eyes are affected by our diet and our lifestyle. Get a good night’s sleep, drink more water, eat healthy foods (especially carrots!) and exercise. All will help keep your eyes focused as you avoid eye strain.