May is Healthy Vision Month. People are encouraged to have a comprehensive dilated eye examination to find common eye problems. We should take care of our vision as part of maintaining our overall health.
Many of us spend several hours a day in front of our computers or mobile devices, straining our eyes in the process. Studies have revealed that 50 to 90 percent of people who regularly use computers complain of bothersome visual symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome, such as eyestrain. Resulting problems include increased work errors, eye twitching, red eyes, decreased productivity, and physical fatigue.
Here are steps you can take to reduce computer-related eyestrain:
- Get a comprehensive eye exam – Getting checked by an eye doctor regularly is your first line of protection against vision problems. Talk to your eye doctor about how much time you spend in front of your computer screen.
- Use proper lighting – Not only is insufficient light bad, excessive lighting can be equally bad. Bright light, either outdoors or indoors, is a major cause of eyestrain.
- Minimize glare – Computer eyestrain may be caused by glare from finished surfaces and reflections on the computer screen. Use darker colors with matte finish on walls and add an anti-glare screen to safeguard your eyes.
- Adjust computer display settings – Modify the brightness, text size, contrast, and color of your monitor or device to make your viewing experience more comfortable.
- Blink more often – Blinking moistens your eyes to prevent irritation and dryness. When looking at the computer screen, people tend to not blink as often, resulting in dry eyes. Blinking will replenish eye moisture.
- Exercise your eyes – Eyes can get fatigued when looking at a screen. Make sure to look away from the computer screen or device at least every 20 minutes and gaze at something more than 20 feet away. This relaxes the focusing muscles in the eyes.
- Take frequent breaks – Taking frequent breaks from your computer will reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as the risk of computer vision syndrome.
- Modify your workstation – Adjust your workstation and your chair to the proper height to avoid straining your body and eyes.
Prevention pays off. Taking care of your vision now will reduce the risk of vision loss in the future.