The Vision Council estimates that 59% of individuals who routinely use computers and digital devices experience symptoms of digital eye strain.
Screen overexposure can lead to short and long term vision problems known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms may be caused by one or a combination of the following: poor lighting, glare on digital screens, improper viewing distances, poor seating posture, uncorrected vision problems and looking at devices without pausing. The tips below outline changes we can make right now to alleviate symptoms, reduce strain and keep our eyes comfortable and healthy throughout our workday.
ADJUST YOUR SETTINGS
Excessive screen time strains eye muscles as the eye must focus and refocus on both graphic and written content. Unlike reading a physical book, screens add contrast and glare, causing eyes to redden and tire. To help lessen the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome try the following device setting adjustments:
- Adjust your brightness so it is approximately the same as the brightness of your surroundings
- Adjust text size and contrast for comfort
- Reduce the color temperature of your display to lower the amount of blue light emitted
REDUCE THE GLARE
Reflections on your computer screen can cause computer eye strain. The glare creates unnecessary feedback that enters the eye and stresses the muscles causing issues like dryness, discomfort and headaches. Suggestions for reduce the glare:
- Change the lighting around you to reduce the glare on your digital screens.
- If you cannot adjust your physical settings, consider installing an anti-glare filter on your digital display to minimize glare from light sources.
- If you wear glasses – consider switching to lenses with anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and the amount of light reflecting off your lenses.
WEAR COMPUTER GLASSES
Blue light is a high energy light that sits at the end of the visible light spectrum, right next to UV light. The energy level of blue light stresses the eye and increases discomfort. Blue light glasses are tinted to filter blue light emitted by digital devices. Glasses with the anti-reflective coating and blue light filter are the optimal choice.
Every 20 minutes look at something about 20 feet away for approximately 20 seconds to give your eyes a chance to refocus. During this time blink often to reduce dry eyes and take the opportunity to stand up for a quick stretch. This will reduce eye discomfort and can combat the negative effects of prolonged exposure from digital screens.
ERGONOMIC SET UP
Poor posture can contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome. The screen should be 20-24 inches from your eyes with the center of the screen angled 10-15 degrees below your sight line for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.