Spending a whole day staring into a computer screen can really wreak havoc on your vision and your eyes. Eyestrain can be caused by many things, mostly staring at one object for too long, but mostly it is a result of spending hours at a computer. Unfortunately, most jobs require looking at a computer screen for the entire shift, so there are a few tricks that you can employ to minimize eyestrain and stop those annoying tension headaches that accompany it.
- Reduce bright light. A lot of eyestrain is the result of glaring overhead lights or direct sunlight. The best lighting for computer based workplaces should be mostly from ambient light sources. Closing the drapes or blinds on a window can be a lot of help, and avoiding the use of bright overhead lights can really make a lot of difference in how you feel at the end of the day. Eyestrain affects more than just the eyes; it can cause headaches, fatigue, and neck pain after a long day, all of which contribute to a decrease in productivity. Many office workers claim that they are able to work better with the fluorescent ceiling lights turned off completely, using only ambient light from windows or desktop lamps for illumination.
- Don’t forget to blink. Blinking is a subconscious action, meaning you don’t actually have to think about it for the action to occur. Studies show, however, that people blink roughly five times less when they are working at a computer. Decreased blinking lets the eyes dry out a lot faster than they normally would, allowing them to become irritated and red a lot more frequently. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but remembering to blink periodically can really reduce the amount of eyestrain you get from working at a computer. Every half hour, try to slowly blink about ten times, taking about one second for each blink; this will re-lubricate your eyes.
- Do eye exercises. Focusing on one single object for an extended amount of time will greatly increase your chances of getting eyestrain, so try to look away from the screen periodically, every 30 minutes or so. Focus on a distant object for about 20 seconds before looking back at the screen. You can also try this set of exercises: without moving your head, look as far up as you can, holding for 10 seconds. Then look as far down as you can (again without moving your head) and hold for ten seconds. Do the same for the right side and then the left side.
Simple practices like these can greatly reduce the chance of eyestrain and all the uncomfortable side effects that come with it. Ask your eye doctor or look for a specialist in the New Jersey area to find out more ways to avoid eyestrain while at work.