10 tips to get rid of computer eye strain

Eyes are the most vital sensory organ in human anatomy. The human eye can be compared to a camera which gathers, focuses, and transmits light through a lens to create an image of the environment. In a camera, the image is created on film; in the eye, the image is created on the retina, a thin layer of light sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The lens of the eye bends, or refracts, light that enters the eye.

The huge population works in front of the computer from 9:00 am-6:00 pm and that affects the eye sight to a greater extent. More and more people suffer from vision problems because eye care is taken for granted. It is very important to give our eyes time to rest after working for long hours in front of the computer or a game console, watching television or reading a book. However, rest for some people could mean reading a book, watching TV or playing computer games, which still requires the eyes to be stressed and get tired.

Although these activities could sometimes be unavoidable, just remember to take a few minutes off at what you’re doing and rest your eyes. Observing proper eye care can prevent poor eyesight or vision loss as you age.

If you spend more than two hours a day on a computer, you may have a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS affects 64% to 90% of all office workers and while it does not cause permanent eye damage, it can be an unpleasant side effect of too much screen time.

Symptoms of CVS

CVS symptoms include:

  • Eye strain
  • Redness
  • Iritation or dryness

You may also experience burning eyes, double or blurred vision, headaches and neck or shoulder pain. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some guidelines and computer eye strain tips to help alleviate these nagging symptoms.

10 Tips for Eliminating Computer Eye Strain

1. Maintain distance in between your eyes and computer screen

Sit far enough away from the screen. This is usually considered at least an arm’s length away from the screen. To make sure your computer is positioned right, try the high-five test: if you can properly high-five your computer screen with a full arm extension, you’re sitting too close.

2. Minimize glare for healthy eyes

Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish. Again, cover the windows. When outside light cannot be reduced, consider using a computer hood. If you wear glasses, purchase 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.

3. Adjust your computer display settings

Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:

  • Brightness. Adjust the brightness of the display so it’s approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
  • 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. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort.

4. Blink frequently to improvise eye sigh

Do not forget to blink periodically. Staring at computer screens can dry our eyes and cause redness and irritation. So, blinking would help you lose out of the concentration from the computer screen.

5.  Use proper lighting for good eye sight

Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.

Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or use lower intensity bulbs and tubes. If possible, position your computer monitor or screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.

6. Take a break from work

You can’t get away from your computer, but your eyes still need time off. Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your computer at an object about 20 feet away. Look at that object for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a chance to reset their focus.

7. Ask your eye doctor about specialized glasses

Some glasses are specifically tinted to reduce glare from computer screens. You eye doctor can recommend a good pair of these that will help properly protect your eyes from computer glare. These are available in prescription and OTC versions. Make sure you only use lenses specifically designed to reduce computer glare. Reading glasses won’t help in this situation.

8. Try massage or eye cupping

Massaging the area around the eyes will help relax the muscles and can be very comforting. Rub your hands together to create friction and warmth, then gently cup your palms over your closed eyes and rest them.

9. Get plenty of vitamin C

Vitamin C not only helps prevent you from getting sick, but it is also great for eye health. Evidence suggests that it can prevent the formation of cataracts and slow macular degeneration. While most fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C, the following foods are some of the best sources for the nutrient:

  • Oranges. One orange will provide you with a whole day’s worth of vitamin C. It is better to get your vitamin C from a whole orange rather than orange juice. That way, you can avoid the added sugar that comes from orange juice.
  • Yellow peppers. Just one large pepper will give you 500% the necessary daily intake of vitamin C. These are easy to cut up and snack on throughout the day.
  • Dark green vegetables. Kale and broccoli specifically are high in vitamin C. With a cup of either kale or broccoli, you can get an entire day’s worth of vitamin C.
  • Berries. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all great choices for vitamin C.

10. Consider computer eyewear

For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customized computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.

Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen. Also, you may want to consider photo chromic lenses or lightly tinted lenses for computer eye wear to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful blue light emitted by digital devices. Ask your optician for details.

10 ways to take care of your eyes naturally

  1. It is critically important to keep your eyes clean and away from chemicals. Fresh water is the best source for cleansing your eyes. A couple drops of rose water are also very good for the health of your eyes.
  2. Eat foods that are good for your eyes.Important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in foods and strengthen the eyesight are beta carotene, lutein, vitamins A, C and E, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Examples of foods where these nutrients are found are the following:
    • Carrot is known to be associated with improving the eyesight. It is packed with beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. Lutein and lycopene are phytonutrients that protects the eyes from sun damage and UVB radiation.
    • Citrus fruits and juices such as orange and lemon are rich in Vitamin C that protects the eyes against infections and diseases.
    • Green leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach and kale contain antioxidants, vitamin A and other nutrients that protect the eyes from eyesight problems like cataracts.
    • Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 improves memory and brain function.
    • Eggs, grapes and dark berries are good sources of zinc and other minerals that help increase proper vision.
  3. UV blocking Sunglasses delay the development of cataracts, since direct sunlight hastens their formation. Sunglasses prevent retinal damage; they also protect the delicate eyelid skin to prevent both wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye, and both cancerous and non-cancerous growths on the eye. Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.
  4. Like our body, our eyes also need regular exercise. Roll your eyes and look from right to left and from top to bottom. The best time to exercise your eyes is when you wake up in the morning.
  5. Tobacco smoking is directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age related macular degeneration ( ARMD). Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.
  6. Gently press cucumber slices against your eyes 10 minutes prior to going to sleep. Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid which prevent water retention and also reduce puffiness around the eyes.
  7. Adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should get a baseline eye examination done at 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. Based on the results of the initial screening, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams. Anyone with symptoms or a family history of eye disease, diabetes  or high blood pressure should see an ophthalmologist to determine how frequently your eyes should be examined.
  8. Dirty or old contact lenses can damage your eyes and even lead to vision-threatening infections. By properly caring for your lenses you can protect your eyes from damage.
    • Wash your lenses after every use with the cleaning solution your eye care professional recommended.
    • Wash your hands before handling your contacts. This ensures that you won’t transfer any bacteria from your hands to your lenses. Also wash with a mild, fragrance-free soap. You could also transfer chemicals and fragrances onto your lenses and cause eye irritation.
    • Apply makeup after your lenses are already in, and remove your makeup after your contacts are out.
    • Never sleep with your contacts in, unless they are specially designed for extended use.
  9. Basic vision care is directly associated with adequate rest and quality sleep. A regular non- interrupted sleep of 7-8 hours provides the amount of rest required for healthy eyes.
  10. Make sure that your light is not too bright or low when working. Lower intensity bulbs and fluorescent lights are ideal to use as lighting condition for your work area. In addition, adjust your computer’s brightness, text size and contrast that properly suit your vision and make you feel comfortable.

One of the most common eye problems is excessive dryness. While there are certain conditions that can lead to dry eyes, you may just be dehydrated. Dehydration manifests itself in several ways, including decreased tear production. Try increasing your water intake to see if this helps your eyes feel less dry.

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