train has become a major office-related problem. Looking at a monitor for a long time can cause dry irritated eyes, headaches, blurred vision, physical fatigue, and decreased productivity. Here are 5 easy and effective tips you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
GET A REGULAR EYE EXAM
Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. Most eye-care experts recommend that you should have an eye exam for every one or two years, depending on your age and risk factors. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter. In addition, there are many problems relating to eyes, including glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration, which has no warning signs. Therefore, having regular eye exams can help you detect these diseases in their early stages.
BLINK MORE OFTEN
Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. In everyday life, we blink about 15 to 20 times a minute. However, that rate drops by half when we’re viewing text on a screen. Blinking keeps the surface of your eyes clear of debris and allergens and keeps the ocular surface lubricated. If you don’t do it enough, you will deprive your eyes of the necessary nutrients. This means you will strain your eyes more, which can make your eyes dry out and irritated. Scientists highly recommend using the 20/20/20 rule when staring at a screen. For every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds so you can blink naturally and give your eyes time to relax.
Glare on your computer monitor is more than just an annoyance. It can leave you with eyestrain and a headache. Taking the shine off your screen should be done as soon as possible to protect your eyes. One of the most effective ways is installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish. In case you are wearing glasses, consider lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.
ADJUST YOUR COMPUTER DISPLAY SETTINGS
Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Check the list below:
Your screen should be illuminated in relation to your environment. If you’re working in a brightly lit room, you can increase your brightness settings; if the room is dim, lower the settings.
- Text size and contrast
Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when reading or composing long documents. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.
- Color temperature
This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Most monitors let you adjust the color temperature manually. It’s best to use a warmer (yellowish) color temperature in dark rooms and a colder (bluer) color temperature in bright rooms.
MODIFY YOUR WORKSTATION
Do you know that the way you sit at your desk and arrange your equipment can affect your vision?
- Tip #1: Keep looking down at a piece of document on your desk and then up at your monitor can contribute to eye strain. We suggest you should try to place the document on a copy stand next to the screen.
- Tip #2: Make sure your desk and chair are at the correct height. Improper posture while working on your computer can also add strain. Your desk chair should be positioned so your knees are at the same height or slightly lower than your hips. Position the chair at a 110-degree angle, slightly reclined, so you’re not at a rigid 90-degree. In addition, the armrests should support your elbows, which should be bent at 90 degrees. Your armrests should be low enough that your shoulders remain relaxed, not hunched.
- Tip #3: If you keep looking down at the computer screen, you will start slouching forward and lean over too far. This puts too much flexion on the neck and rounds the shoulders, thus cause eye strain. Your computer screen should be 20 to 24 inches from your eyes and the center of the screen should be 10 to 15 degrees below your eye line.