Eye strain is a common issue among office workers, gamers, and anyone who sits in front of a computer screen for extended amounts of time.
According to the University of Iowa, Computer Vision Syndrome affects 75% of people who work on computers.
This syndrome includes the following symptoms:
- Eye fatigue
- Dry eyes
- Burning eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
Computer Vision Syndrome is caused by many factors, from reduced blink rate to low refresh rates.
Below are a few tips to reduce eye strain while working on a PC.
Get your eyes examined
If you are experiencing constant eye strain, you may need to take an eye exam and get a new prescription, or glasses if you don’t wear them.
An eye exam and the appropriate prescription is vital to ensuring that you can view a monitor comfortably while working.
Before you go for an eye exam, measure the distance you sit from your screen so your optometrist can account for this viewing range when prescribing lenses.
Use correct lighting without glare
Eliminate harsh exterior light in your field of view when working on a monitor and eliminate any glare on your screen.
Bright outdoor light or harsh interior light in your field of view can cause eye strain when working on a monitor, and your interior lighting should be relatively dim.
Using glasses with an anti-reflective coating will reduce glare and minimizes light reflections from your lenses.
Blink and take breaks
While it sounds a bit daft to tell people to blink, blinking and relaxing your eyes is important to reduce eye strain – especially if you are focussing on a monitor for extended periods.
A great method for reducing eye strain and relaxing your focus is the 20-20-20 rule.
When operating a computer on a regular basis, users should look away from their monitor at an object about 20 feet (6m) away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
Refresh rate, colour temperature, and f.lux
Displays with higher refresh rates may reduce eye strain when compared to standard 60Hz monitors.
Another cause of eye strain is the amount of blue light from a display, which is associated with more eye strain than hues with longer wavelengths.
High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted from digital devices also reduces the body’s melatonin levels, causing people to stay awake for longer.
Users should change the colour temperature of their monitor to avoid unnecessary blue light, especially at night. A useful program called f.lux can do this automatically.