Eyestrain caused by office work is one of the biggest complaints of employees. They usually sit in front of the computer eight hours or more everyday, and this takes a toll on their eyes. According to studies, up to 90% of office workers experience visual problems and tiredness of the eyes.
Symptoms, like twitching of the eyes or redness, should not be ignored. They could cause problems, not just personally, but with work as well, such as committing typing errors and decrease in productivity. To get relief from computer vision syndrome and other work-related eye strains, follow the tips below.
Schedule a comprehensive optical exam
- This is the most important thing you can do. It should be easy to get one since they are available in supercenters around the country, like Sears. Once you get a Sears Optical eye exam, the doctor may recommend the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision.
The recommendation of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is to get an exam once a year. The optometrist will ask about when your vision problems began, what kind of work you perform in the office, and your practice in terms of reading notes from your computer. Check with the doctor if your normal distance for when you sit in front of the computer is fine or not.
Minimize the monitor’s glare
- This is one of the leading causes of eyestrain, and same goes with the glare of your smartphone and other finished surfaces. With regard to your computer, you can install an anti-glare screen or lower its brightness. Also lower the brightness of your phone screen. If there’s too much light coming from the windows, cover it with curtains or blinds. You can also wear specs with anti-reflective coating, as this can minimize the reflected light off the eyeglass lenses.
Use appropriate lighting
- Excessive lighting and poor lighting are both stressful for the eyes. Again, outdoor light seeping through the windows can be minimized by drapes. In your home office, or maybe at work, if possible, use tubes and bulbs that have low intensity. If it’s not possible, maybe you can turn off some of the light bulbs instead. Also, avoid working directly under fluorescent lights. It is better to use indirect halogen and incandescent lights.
The window should also not be behind or in front of you. Move your desk or computer so that the window is on your side. If this won’t work, cover the window with blinds and use interior lights instead. When choosing lighting fixtures, get the full-spectrum fluorescent tubes or bulbs because they emit a more natural light, which is friendlier to the eyes.
Upgrade your monitor
- If you’re using the tube-style monitor, replace it replace it with a flat panel display. They have an anti-reflective surface and do not produce flickering images that can cause eye fatigue. Choose an LCD screen that’s big and with the highest possible resolution.
Adjust the monitor’s display settings
- Aside from the brightness of the screen, you can reduce eye strain by adjusting the color temperature, contrast, and text size. The tip for brightness is that it should have the same vividness as your surroundings. When it comes to color temperature, lower the blue light emitted by the display. Blue lights have short wavelengths that are associated with eyestrain. Hues with higher wavelengths are red and orange, which are better for long-term computer use.
And as of the contrast and text size, the white background and black print is still the best combination. When composing documents, adjust the size of the text because it should be big enough for you to read comfortably.
Give your eyes a break
- To relax the eyes, you need to exercise them. Fatigue from too much focus on the screen is inevitable. Every half an hour, look away from your computer stare at something from a distance, an object that’s about 20 feet from you. Do this for about 30 seconds, and then go back to work. Another trick to relax the muscles is to gaze at a faraway object for 15 seconds, look at something up close for another 15 seconds—repeat the process ten times.
To prevent eye irritation and dryness, blink more often to keep the moisture in the eyes. Office factors such as dry air and too much focus on the document being created (less blinking) make the tears evaporate more quickly. To rewet your eyes, blink 10 times every 20 minutes.
Take frequent mini breaks
- Do this as long as you are able to finish your tasks on time and will not cause an issue with your manager or supervisor. Taking quick breaks will force you to give your eyes the rest they require.