Between 50 – 90 % of people who routinely use computers and digital devices experience eye strain and the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
Do you experience any of the following symptoms? Symptoms of CVS include: Eye fatigue and discomfort, itchy eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches and neck, and back pain. If you are looking for relief for your eyes we have detailed 8 easy steps that you can implement to reduce your risk for CVS and noticeably reduce eye strain.
1. Set up your workstation properly
There are a number of steps that you can take to rework your office space to the optimum desk layout for your eyes.
Firstly, if your work requires looking back and forth between your screen and printed work, it is suggested that you get a stand so that you are able to place the printed work adjacent to your screen. Secondly, adjust your seating so that your feet comfortably rest on the floor and position your screen for maximum head and neck comfort. According to Ergatron, for maximum comfort, you should adjust your monitor height so that the top of your screen is in line with or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be positioned around 50 cms from your eyes which is roughly estimated at an arm’s length distance from your eyes. Then, once the monitor is in position, tilt it around 10 to 20 degrees back. You can play around with the positioning of your screen to see what feels most comfortable for you. As a rule of thumb, your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the center of the screen.
Lastly, in addition to moving the positioning of your screen, consider upgrading your screen to increase comfort for your eyes. Old fashioned screens produce a flickering of images which is a major cause of eye strain. When choosing a new display, select a screen with a high resolution.
2. Use proper lighting
The surrounding lighting has an impact on your eye strain. Therefore, by adjusting the light sources in your environment you will be able to reduce symptoms of eye strain. Most office spaces have ambient lighting far too light for computer work and should typically be about half as bright as they currently are. Here are a few ways you can make use of proper lighting in an office or home space.
Reducing the ambient lighting in a space can be achieved by reducing external or internal lighting, or both. To reduce external lighting, the blinds, curtains or drapes can be drawn closed. Internally, lighting can be reduced by using a light with a dimmer, using lower intensity lights or using fewer lights. If possible, alternatively you can turn off overhead fluorescent lights and use softer floor lamps for the ambient lighting.
To minimize glare off your screen, try and reposition your monitor and screens so that the windows are to the side of your displays and not directly in front of or behind your screen.
3. Adjust your screen display settings
This tip takes very little effort and may improve your overall comfort within seconds. Key variables to adjust are the brightness of your screen and the size of the text on your screen. We would suggest playing around with these two variables until you feel most comfortable.
As a gauge, if the white on your screen appears to be a light source the brightness is too high on the screen. However, if the white on the screen appears to be dull and grey the brightness is too dark. Play with the settings until you are comfortable and find somewhere in the middle. In terms of the font size on your screen, you will need to adjust and increase your text size until you feel your eyes are comfortable.
4. Take breaks from your screens
Giving your eyes and body a break from sitting in front of a screen all day is of the utmost importance if you are looking to reduce computer eye strain as well as neck, shoulder and back pain. Here are a few ways you can give your eyes and body the rest it deserves.
Stand up and stretch your back and arms every now and again to reduce tension and if possible, walk around a bit. Another common way to give your eyes a break is the 20-20-20 rule. This exercise requires you to look away from your screen every 20 minutes to something about 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.
5. Exercise changing your focus
During prolonged periods of computer usage, it is beneficial to change up your focus with eye exercises. These easy eye exercises will help change your focus and aid in preventing eye strain symptoms.
- Step 1: Hold one finger a few cms away from one eye.
- Step 2: Focus on the finger while slowly moving it away.
- Step 3: Then focus to the distance (5 meters away) then back at the finger.
- Step 4: Slowly bring the finger back close to the eye.
- Step 5: Focus on something more than 5 meters away.
- Step 6: Repeat 3 times.
- Step 1: Look at an object far away (about 5 meters) for 15 seconds
- Step 2: Gaze at your finger held in front of your face for 15 seconds
- Step 3: Repeat 10 times
6. Blink more often
As simple as this tip sounds, blinking more frequently and completely can have a dramatic effect on the overall comfort of your eyes. During computer work, it is common for people to perform partial blinking – where only a part of the eye is covered by the lid. These blinking patterns may result in dry eyes. Blinking is responsible for cleaning out your eyes and rewetting the ocular surface with tears. Be sure that when you are spending extended periods of time behind a screen you take time to blink consciously.
If you are really struggling with symptoms of dry eyes you can ask your doctor about purchasing artificial tears to use during the day.
Additional tip: Take 1 minute every now and again to ensure you blink fully and rewet your eyes. You can blink very slowly and hold your eyes closed for a moment before reopening them. Your eyes should not be tightly squeezed shut but rather loosely closed as if you were sleeping. You can blink 10 times into each of the forward directions (Up, Down, Left, Right and Straight) to ensure you flush tears over the ocular surface.
7. Wearing Clip IT Blue Block Screen Glasses to protect your eyes
The first way to greatly reduce any discomfort you feel from eye strain and CVS is to use blue light blocking screen glasses. The screens on our digital devices emit high levels of short-wave blue spectrum light which causes our eyes to constantly refocus. This blue light causes eye fatigue, headaches and impaired levels of concentration. Our Clip IT glasses are designed specifically to filter out blue spectrum light, allowing a sharper image to be transferred to the retina, keeping our eyes focused, relaxed and greatly reducing the symptoms of eye strain.
Furthermore, the anti-reflective coating on our Clip IT lenses will help with glare and reduce eye strain symptoms.
Clip IT glasses are non-prescriptive and suitable for all ages and genders. If you are like us and spend multiple hours a day behind a screen and are looking for immediate relief from computer eye strain try our blue light blocking glasses today.
8. Go for a comprehensive eye exam
Be sure to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that your prescription is up to date. Remember that your vision-related discomfort may be due to an underlying vision problem that can be detected through an exam and can be properly treated by your doctor.
These appointments are a great place to discuss any eye strain or related problems you may be experiencing as well as sharing how often and for how long you use your digital devices both at work and at home. Your doctor will be able to prescribe whether or not you need glasses and address any concerns you may have. We recommend consulting your eye doctor every year for a checkup appointment and a comprehensive eye examination.
Additional tip: Measure how far both your work and at home screens are from your eyes and have this measurement handy in your eye appointment. This way your doctor will be able to test your eyes at your specific working distance and suggest any recommendations or changes.