When we’re at work, we often spend a lot of time looking at computer screens (as well as smart phone screens, tablets, etc.). And now that many of us are working from home (and working longer hours), we’re spending more time looking at computer screens than ever before. This has led a greater number of people to experience a condition known as “computer vision syndrome.” According to the American Optometric Association, this condition includes symptoms like dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, achy neck, and sore shoulders.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms like these, there are definitely things you can do to make yourself feel better. Here are a few tips:
- Sit up straight – Good posture is important. Keep your back straight (no slouching!) and your feet flat on the floor. Your wrists should be raised slightly above your keyboard (rather than resting on it). And you should be looking down at your computer screen, just a bit. It’s easier on the eyes than looking straight ahead or upwards.
- Make sure you have good lighting – Your work area shouldn’t be too bright or too dim. You want it to be bright enough for you to be able to see what you’re doing without squinting. But you don’t want it to be so bright that the light is hitting your computer screen and causing a painful glare.
- Make your font size bigger – If you make your font size bigger, you won’t have to squint and strain your eyes when reading text on screen.
- Blink a lot – We tend to blink less often when staring at a computer screen. And that’s a problem, because blinking produces moisture, which keeps your eyes from feeling irritated and dry. So make a conscious effort to blink often throughout your workday. Your eyes will thank you!
- Look away from your computer screen – A year ago, I wrote an article about the “20-20-20 rule.” Basically, it states that for every 20 minutes that you work at your computer, you should stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s a way of giving your eyes a much needed rest. Working near a window will help you to put this technique into practice more easily.
- Make sure you have the right prescription – If the prescription for your glasses or contacts is out-of-date, your eyes are going to feel more achy, strained, and tired. So get your prescription checked if you suspect that your vision isn’t as sharp as it should be.
- Take a break from technology at the end of the day – When you’re done with work for the day, try taking a break from looking at screens. Read a book, play a board game, or cuddle with your cat. Your eyes will feel rested and rejuvenated!
Boyers, L. (2020, September 11). 8 ways to reduce eye strain while working from home. Verywell Health. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/digital-eye-strain-work-from-home-5077257