Did you know that our eyes are under bigger strain when exposed to screens compared to reading printed words on regular pages?

Welcome to the wide world of computer eye strain. There are a couple of reasons why screens cause this much distress to our eyes. Blurry letters and smaller degrees of contrast compared to reading the printed word can all make it an uphill battle to read words on screens, especially when done constantly. 

If you’ve been dealing with eyestrain, then no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of computer eye strain symptoms and how to reduce the eye strain.

Computer Eye Strain 101: Understanding the Causes

Generally speaking, humans blink approximately 15-20 times each minute on average. This uniformly distributes tears across your eyes, preventing them from becoming dry and irritating.

However, when reading, viewing, or playing on a screen, researchers discovered that individuals blink fewer than half as frequently. Additionally, the contrast of writing versus the backdrop and glare and flickering from digital displays may be taxing on the eyes.

Long amounts of time spent looking at digital displays may cause a person’s eyes to work harder than normal. This may put the eyes under a lot of pressure, which can lead to visual issues.

A variety of reasons may cause computer eye strain. Some individuals, for example, see displays from inconvenient distances and angles. This may lead to uneasy and tight postures, particularly if the individual has underlying visual issues.

Furthermore, according to one review, while individuals are looking at screens, their blinking rate decreases significantly.

On the other hand, blinking is an essential biological activity that maintains the eye’s surface clean and lubricated. Some of the symptoms of computer eye strain may be explained by this decrease in blinking. 

What Are the Computer Eye Strain Symptoms?

Now that you’re familiar with the causes of eyestrain, it’s time to explore the common symptoms of computer-caused eye strain.

Here are some of the symptoms that you might be dealing with. If you find yourself facing a couple of symptoms all at the same time, then it’s definitely time to set up an appointment with your optometrist. 

  • dry, irritated, or burning eyes
  • difficulty refocusing the eyes
  • tired eyes with constant discomfort
  • blurred vision
  • headaches around the eye area
  • sensitivity to bright lights
  • neck and shoulder pain

Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that these are general symptoms, so you’ll always want the confirmation to come in from a professional.

How to Reduce Eye Strain From Computer Exposure

There are simple habits that you can integrate into your daily life, which can truly ease the amount of strain you’ve been putting your eyes under. 

Start by making changes to the lighting. It may be easier for your eyes to watch television if the room is dimly lighted.

Use a shaded lamp positioned in front of you if you’re reading at a desk. Then, try placing the light source behind you and focusing on your page or job while reading printed materials or performing close work. Light will not shine straight into your eyes because of the shade.

Limit the time spent in front of the screen. Moreover, you’ll want to take frequent pauses from close work and rest your eyes by glancing away from the computer screen. This is particularly essential for youngsters, who may not recognize the link between prolonged gazing, eyestrain, and the need to rest their eyes on a frequent basis.

When it comes to quick fixes, you can get artificial tears. Those are sold over the counter may help prevent and treat dry eyes. Even if your eyes feel great, use them to keep them lubricated and avoid a return of discomfort.

Your doctor may advise you on which eye drops are best for you. You may use Preservative-free lubricating drops as often as needed. If you’re taking preservative-containing drops, don’t use them more than four times a day. Eyedrops that include a redness reducer should be avoided since they may exacerbate dry eye problems.

Next, you’ll want to start using a humidifier, lowering the temperature to minimize blowing air, and avoiding smoking are some adjustments that may help prevent dry eyes. If you smoke, you should think about stopping. Moving your chair to a new location may assist to decrease the quantity of dry air that gets in your eyes and face.

Tips for Computer Work

There’s no denying how computer work has affected our eyesight for the worse. These self-care tips may help relieve some of the strain on your eyes if you work at a desk and use a computer.

Blink often to keep your eyes fresh. When working at a computer, many individuals blink less than normal, which may cause dry eyes. Blinking causes tears to form in your eyes, which moisturize and refresh them. When staring at a computer screen, make it a practice to blink more often.

Reduce glare by checking the illumination. You can do so by switching to your computer’s dark mode. You can learn how to turn on dark mode on mac here. 

Use an adjustable desk lamp if you need light for writing or reading. Avoid putting your monitor directly in front of a window or a white wall by closing curtains or drapes. Cover the screen with an anti-glare cover.

Make changes to your screen’s settings. To make reading easier, enlarge the font. Also, set the contrast and brightness to a suitable level for you.

Ready to Give Your Eyes Some Rest?

We know that eyestrain might feel inescapable. However, the bulk of computer eye strain can (at the very least) be minimized. We hope that our explainer has shed some gentle light (pun intended) on the ways you can better take care of your eyesight. 

And, if you feel like you still need more information, we’ve got you covered. Check out our lifestyle section for all the additional tips and tricks you could possibly need.