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Six Tips for Preventing Computer Eye Strain

By Leona Reese, Implementations Analyst


Digital eye strain is felt by 59% of individuals who use computers or other digital devices according to The Vision Council.  Signs of eye strain include blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

Here are six tips to reduce eye strain and symptoms:

  •  Adjust your computer display settings
    • Adjust the brightness to approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation.
    • Adjust the text size and contrast to your comfort.
    • Reducing your display’s color temperature lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display which is better for long-term viewing comfort.
  • Minimize Glare
    • Light reflecting off walls and other surfaces as well as reflection on your computer screen can cause eye strain.
    • Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your computer.
    • If possible, paint the bright walls a darker color with a matte finish.
    • If you wear glasses, consider buying lenses with an anti-reflective coating.
  • Use a Humidifier
    • A humidifier will increase the amount of moisture in the air, which would significantly reduce eye strain.
  • Use Proper Lighting
    • Eye strain is often caused by excessively bright light. This could be from sunlight coming through a window or from interior lights.
    • When using a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as what is found in most offices.
  • Use the 20-20-20 Rule
    • Every 20 minutes take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away while blinking frequently. This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability locking up, also referred to as an accommodative spasm.
  • Get a comprehensive eye exam.
    • This is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems.
    • Measure how far your eyes are from your screen. Talk to your doctor about this distance and have your eyes checked for that distance.