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Reducing Eye Strain When You Use a Computer at Work

Thursday, July 31, 2014 @ 08:07 PM
Author: admin

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Eye strain—and those uncomfortable symptoms like achy, blurry eyes and painful headaches—tend to occur because of people’s heavy reliance on looking at screens. Most doctors would recommend that you reduce your time spent on your computer or smartphone to keep eye strain at bay. However, if you work in an office setting where you spend the better part of seven or eight hours in front of a computer, you can’t really do much beyond take occasional breaks.

You can indeed cut back on eye strain even if you work in front of a computer all day. By taking a few proactive steps, you can be productive at work and drive home safely without fatigued eyes at the end of the day. Before you take any steps though, make sure that you visit with your eye doctor and see what they would recommend. Tell them exactly how many hours that you spend looking at your work computer and receive an examination so you can make sure that your eye health is optimal.

If you already wear glasses, your eye doctor may suggest a pair of computer glasses. These, according to All About Vision, are specialized frames that sit farther from your eyes in order to prevent eye strain symptoms from computer usage. However, they do not replace corrective lenses or contacts, but rather are worn in addition to these.

When you get into work the next day, change various settings on your computer’s display. Look into the color temperature, which All About Vision notes is the amount of light produced by the colors on your computer screen. Adjust this for less blue, which can cause eye pain. Make sure that all text displays at a size that isn’t too small so that you can read it easily. Also make sure that text displays as black on white with no other variation, as this could irritate your eyes. You may also want to adjust the brightness on your computer. A too-bright computer screen can be too much on your eyes, inducing eye strain symptoms. However, you could also struggle to read on a darker screen, also harming your eyes. Find a balance between the two.

Don’t stop there though. If you use word processing programs or other text-based programs, you can adjust the size of the text with a magnifying glass icon. You can possibly do this with an email client as well. You can also increase the size of text on Internet browsers if you’re allowed to use the Internet at work.

You may also want to consider asking your IT professional, boss, or manager about changing out your computer monitor entirely. All About Vision notes that cathode ray tube screens are more likely to cause eye strain than LCD screens. If you have an older computer, it may also not work as efficiently as a newer model would, which is another great reason to convince a higher-up to invest in new machines for the office. Try to get screens as big as possible.

You also want to change the amount of lighting in your office, cubicle, or other workspace. With a lot of sunlight or bright light in the room, glare becomes an issue, and this also could cause eye strain. If you have windows with blinds or curtains, take advantage of these. Adjust your computer monitor if possible so that it doesn’t reflect this disruptive glare. All About Vision also notes that anti-glare solution for computer screens can help in the event that you can’t physically move the location of your monitor.

Once you make changes to your computer monitor and the workspace around you, you can also make personal changes that will help cut back on eye strain. For example, doing eye exercises can keep your vision sharp throughout the day. All About Vision recommends that you stop what you’re doing on a 20 minute basis and take 20 seconds to focus your eyes elsewhere besides your computer screen. Although this doesn’t seem like exercise, if you do this throughout the day, you’ll notice an improvement in how tired your eyes feel at the end of the day.

Lastly, nothing replaces breaks. Whenever you can, take a few minutes or more and take a break from the screen. If you do this in conjunction with the other suggestions above, you’ll notice that eye strain will become a lesser if not nonexistent issue for you throughout the day

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