These days, more and more of us are working on computers and then spending much of our relaxation time in front of a screen, too. Unfortunately, this can result in digital eye strain, leaving our eyes feeling tired, dry, and uncomfortable. For some people, it can also cause headaches, neck pain, and blurred vision.
Whether you experience these symptoms, you may well be wondering how best to protect your eyes when you have to use a computer all day. Here are some top tips to help you out.
Firstly, think about where your computer or laptop is situated. To minimize the negative impacts on your eyes you should keep your screen at arm’s length from your face, especially if you have a large display. Also, make sure that you don’t have excessively bright lights where you’re working. Natural light is best, but just make sure that it’s not causing a glare on the screen, positioning yourself with a window to the side rather than directly behind or in front of the screen is recommended.
There are some changes you can make to your display settings that will help make using your computer easier on your eyes. For example, you should reduce the brightness so that the screen isn’t shining like a light source and adjust the size of the text so that it’s comfortable to read. Switching your display into ‘dark mode’, which inverts the colors, can also help. It’s even possible to buy a blue light blocking filter to cover your computer screen, further reducing eye strain.
Instead of getting a blue light filter for your screen, you could get blue light blocking glasses, which will also help when you’re using your phone and reduce the chances of screen use leading to insomnia as a result of too much late-night exposure to blue light. These glasses can be combined with UV protection contact lenses or other lenses for those who require corrective lenses. Alternatively, you can have special computer glasses made with your prescription, which are specifically designed for people who must look at a screen all day.
Probably the most effective steps you can take are to change your work habits. It’s important to take regular breaks from looking at the screen and focus your eyes on something in the distance instead. This helps to relax the muscles in the eye that are used to focus on something near, like your computer screen. If you can get up and move around for a bit, that’s even better. Another tip is to make sure that you blink regularly. Studies have shown that people blink less when looking at a screen, which is one of the reasons our eyes get dry. Perform a series of slow blinks throughout the day to help rehydrate your eyes. Finally, of course, minimize your screen use if you possibly can!