For so many of us technology is a significant part of modern life. About 80% of us use it regularly. Whether it is for business or pleasure, often both, looking at all those screens can have a negative effect on your eyes. Think about how much time you spend each day looking at your phone, computer or laptop, and tablet. Those hours add up and eventually take a toll on your eyes.
We have seen clients reporting conditions directly related to technology use. Conditions like dry eyes, eye twitching, redness, and even headaches. Younger adults, under age 35, are reporting eye strain at nearly 50% faster than their more mature counterparts.
How to prevent or minimize computer eye strain:
Run for cover
An anti-glare screen can significantly help save your eyes. If you are going to be spending more than 2-3 consecutive hours per day looking at a computer screen look into putting an anti-glare cover on your monitor. Keep glare inducing light away from your screen from sources like lamps, bright white walls and windows. There are new coatings for your eye glass lenses that block out the harmful blue light emitted from you computer screen.
Check the contrast on your screen for longer viewing times. E-readers like Kindle and Nook are designed for longer view times because you will be reading books. The background is grey with black type which is less strain for your eyes. Try decreasing the contrast on your computer and cell phone if you’re getting headaches.
LCD flat panel screens are easier on your eyes than older tube style CRT monitors. Also make sure you are 20-30 inches from the monitor and it is sitting at your eye level. There are monitor stands available in office supply stores or you can use some sturdy stacks of books or even the white pages.
Are you blinking enough? The eye is designed to blink to keep your eyes clean and moist. You may not realize how little you are blinking when you’re looking at your devices or computer. Staring at technology screens for extended amounts of time means you aren’t blinking frequently enough. The dryness can lead to redness and irritation.
Get up and move around. For every hour you’re staring at the computer get up and look away for 10 minutes. Go for a short walk, visit a co-worker, play with your pet-just, and don’t look at your cell phone. This step alone will save your eyes.
When all else fails there is professional help
Our eyes are working very hard so we can see the computer screen and other devices. If you’ve taken these precautionary steps and are still experiencing computer related vision problems an eye care professional can certainly help. Talk to them about eyeglasses or contacts that are designed for heavy computer use. They can even create customized computer eyeglasses. Even people with nearly perfect vision (those that don’t wear corrective lenses) are still at risk for some problems. Mid-range, task specific glasses for computer use can make a world of difference for your eyes and computer related eye problems.