Many people who use computers and electronic devices on a regular basis experience discomfort with their eyes. Find out how to easily relieve eye strain.
In our current age of technology and electronics, a rising complaint among many people is the issue of eye strain and eye fatigue. Extended usage of electronics such as computers, laptops, and iPads can lead to tired and even painful eyes, which can lead to physical fatigue, reduced productivity, irritability and frustration.
For most people who suffer from computer eye strain, it may not be possible to completely avoid the usage of electronics on a regular basis. However, there are a few ways to reduce the overall strain on the eyes during the course of a day.
Use Proper Lighting
When your room is too bright due to strong outdoor sunlight or harsh interior lighting, your eyes need to exert more energy to adjust and retain that adjustment. While bright lights can make it easier to see, the lighting in your room should only be half as strong as the lighting found in most offices.
You can reduce the problem of lighting in a few ways. Close the curtains or drop the blinds to reduce exterior light from entering the room. Position your screen such that windows are off to the side rather than in front of you or behind you. Switch from high-intensity bulbs to low-intensity fluorescent bulbs.
Also, try to use overhead lighting as opposed to direct lamps.
Eye strain can be caused by having to squint due to glares, which can be on your screen or on your walls or anything else with a reflective surface. Glares can be caused by improper lighting, so solving the lighting issue may solve any glare problems you have.
If you’re still experiencing glares, try switching to a screen with a matte finish rather than a glossy finish. If your walls are too bright and reflective, consider painting them in a darker colour with a matte finish. Still can’t get rid of those glares? Consider using a computer hood.
Switch to LCD Displays
Back in the day, computers were paired with tube-style monitors called CRT monitors (cathode-ray tubes). Nowadays, most consumers have switched over from CRT to LCD screens, which are flat-panel liquid crystal displays. These are the same type of screens found on laptops.
Old-fashioned CRT screens tend to flicker, which can cause eye strain. LCD screens, on the other hand, are very fluid and much easier on the eyes. When possible, increase your screen’s refresh rate to minimize the noticeability of flickers and jitters.
Also, the bigger your display, the easier it will be to read. Keep that in mind when purchasing your next monitor.
Use Proper Brightness and Contrast
Even if the lighting in your area is optimal, you could be forcing your eyes to work harder if the difference in brightness and contrast between your monitor and your ambient lighting is too harsh. Imagine sitting in a dark room and staring into a light bulb. If your monitor brightness and contrast are not set correctly, you could be staring into a bright light bulb for hours and hours every day.
Bring up a blank white colour on your screen, like a white website or a blank Word document. If it’s too bright, you should reduce your screen brightness. Similarly, if it’s too dull or grey, you should increase your screen brightness.
Blinking is an important bodily function that keeps the eyes moist, preventing them from drying out and causing irritation. When people sit at a computer or use electronic devices, they blink less frequently. During long periods of infrequent blinking, the moisture on the eyes evaporates more quickly, leaving the eyes dry and rough.
Consciously force yourself to blink a lot when using an electronic device.
If you still experience discomfort from dryness, ask your eye doctor for artificial tears to use throughout the day. Make sure you do not get them confused with eye drops that only get rid of redness because they don’t help with lubrication.
Exercise Your Eyes
One major cause of eye strain is focusing fatigue, which is when your eyes focus on an object for an extended period of time and subsequently grow tired. When your eyes stay focused on a single object for a long time, they have trouble breaking out of that particular focus.
To reduce the impact of focusing fatigue, look away from your computer screen at least every 20 minutes and focus on an object at least 20 feet away and keep looking at that distance for at least 20 seconds – known as the “20-20-20” rule.
Another way to combat focusing fatigue is to look at a distant object for 20 seconds and then look at a nearby object for 20 seconds. Continue to alternate between the two distances at least 10 times.
Our eyes are very sensitive and important, so it would do us well to keep them healthy and prevent them from being fatigued. Treat your eyes well with proper lighting, proper displays, and proper eye exercise. Over time, you will notice that your eyes are less bothersome and less irritable, allowing you to remain productive and free of eye-related frustrations.