Many people who use computers complain of eye strain. Looking at a computer monitor for a long time can strain your eyes or can make any other problems you are having with your eyes seem more noticeable.
Although eye strain can cause discomfort, it usually isn’t serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. You may not be able to change the amount of time you’re in front of a computer at work, or the factors that can cause eye strain, but you can take steps to reduce it.
Regular eye examinations can help you with clear, comfortable vision. But they also offer a broader health assessment – the optometrist checks the health of your eyes and looks for signs of other medical conditions.
When you have your test, let the optometrist know you use computers often.
Regularly look away from your computer screen and focus on distant objects. For example, take a minute to stare out of the window.
Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.
Eye strain is often caused by excessive sunlight coming in through the window or by bright room lighting.
Use curtains or blinds to reduce the brightness of the sun, reduce the lighting in your room and avoid sitting under big overhead fluorescent lights.
Glare reflected from light-coloured painted walls and shiny surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen, can cause eye strain.
Changing from an old-style cathode ray tube (or CRT) monitor to a modern LCD screen can help avoid eye strain.
Adjusting your computer’s display settings can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
The way you sit at your desk and arrange your equipment can affect your vision.
Wearing prescription glasses gives the greatest comfort at your computer.
If you wear contact lenses, consider wearing glasses when on your computer as contact lenses can become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.
Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.