Tips to Reduce Eyestrain at the Office
Do you spend all week in an office staring at a computer screen? If you do, you’re not alone. Millions upon millions of Americans do this 52 weeks per year. The millions, though, aren’t doing their eyes any favors by glaring into a screen for 40 hours per week.
When your eyes are exposed to the light emitted from a computer screen (and smartphones, too) for a prolonged amount of time, it can often lead to eyestrain, which affects much more than your eyes. Just as with many other issues, the first step in fighting eyestrain is knowing what exactly it is and what causes it. Eyestrain usually happens when your eyes are forced to overwork during an extended period of time. It comes with a myriad of different symptoms, including the following:
- Eye pain or tension (this can often be felt in the temples or neck)
- Double or blurred vision
- Redness or dryness of the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
Don’t fret, though, most of these symptoms can be remedied by making small, simple decisions in your everyday work life. Taking short breaks from staring at your computer screen is one of the best ways to dramatically reduce eyestrain at the office. I’ve mentioned it before, but the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends using the 20-20-20 rule while at work. This means that every 20 minutes of looking at your screen, you should look up and stare at something about 20 feet away for 20-or-so seconds. Like blinking, this helps keeps your eyes focused objects in front of you. This takes nearly no time at all, just one minute per hour, and your eyes will be grateful.
Another thing to consider is how your computer screen is positioned at your desk. I know not everyone has proper posture, but in an ideal world, you would be sitting straight in your chair and your monitor (or monitors) should be just below eye level. This won’t just help decrease eyestrain, but help you work on your posture as well.
And while these are great ways to help reduce the strain put on your eyes at the office, the most important thing you can do is contact your optometrist. Only your eye doctor will be able to determine whether or not you will need corrective lenses to help combat eyestrain.