Computer eye strain is one of the leading health complaints in the modern day workplace. With so many of us staring at computer screens for several hours on a day to day basis, it’s hardly surprising that around 64% to 90% of office workers are experiencing symptoms.
In this blog we will uncover just what it means to have computer eye strain, and how you can reduce the risk of developing this uncomfortable and troubling health problem.
What is Computer Eye Strain?
How many hours a day to you spend staring at a computer screen? If it’s more than two hours, you could be at risk of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Whilst modern technology is fantastic for enhancing productivity, the bad news is that excessive screen time can impact your eye health and visual performance. CVS is characterised by eye strain symptoms, as well as dryness, irritation and redness. Some people may also experience a burning sensation in the eyes, as well as neck and shoulder pain, and double or blurred vision.
Interestingly, most people who report symptoms of eye strain and CVS are glasses or contact wearers. Incorrect prescriptions are a common cause, whilst other factors such as poor posture, dry eyes and uncorrected vision problems can also increase the likelihood of developing eye strain.
How to Avoid Computer Eye Strain
If you’re experiencing painful and unpleasant symptoms as a result of using the computer, we recommend the following tips to reduce your risk of developing eye strain:
Stop. Think. Blink
How often do you reckon you blink whilst using the computer? A relatively normal blink rate is considered to be 12-15 blinks a minute, but this is much less among computer users. Many only do around 4-5 blinks a minute! This is because eyes are constantly jumping around the screen, trying to gather as much information as possible at any one time. Blinking is disruptive to this pattern and productivity, but not blinking can lead to unpleasant scratchiness and dryness in the eye. Make sure you stop, think and blink every so often to avoid this.
Getting your eyes tested regularly is essential for preventing and/or treating computer-related eye health and vision problems. According to studies, almost 71% of people with CVS and eye strain symptoms wear glasses or contact lenses, so if your prescription is wrong, an eye exam will help you to get it corrected as soon as possible. At Eyesite we offer a range of comprehensive eye exams for our patients. Find out more on our Eye Examination Services page.
Find Your Eye-deal Position
There’s a very good reason why we’re all told as children to ‘not sit too close to the TV’. Eye strain is directly linked to sitting too close to a computer screen, so make sure you keep your monitor at least an arm’s length away from your face and positioned directly in front of you. The centre of screen should be about 4 to 8 inches below your eyes, which allows your neck to relax as you focus.
Take a Break
Every 30 minutes, you should be making a conscious effort to take a break from your computer and let your eyes regenerate. Stretch, make a cup of tea, or look into the distance or out the window to distract your mind – and your eyes – from the computer screen. Also take this time to consider your posture and readjust your sitting habits to prevent additional strain on your back, neck and shoulders.
Get Computer Glasses
No, we’re not talking glasses that look like computer screens – we’re talking specifically designed lenses made especially for computer use. These can be handy if you experience eye discomfort at work on a regular basis and want a reliable, long-term solution to combat eye strain symptoms. Talk to one of our experts today to discuss your needs and to arrange an eye exam at one of our local practices.
Eye strain or CVS causing you endless hassle? Book an appointment at your local Eyesite practice today for specialist advice.