Computer Eyestrain – easy solutions

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Computer Eyestrain – easy solutions 

Do you ever find that your eyes feel tired, dry or stinging after a session on your computer? We often find ourselves staring at a computer screen, iPad, Kindle or other device for long periods of time, absorbed in what we are doing without giving much thought to our eyes.

The solution can be very simple. It’s this: blink often, blink slowly and blink completely.

With less blinking and incomplete blinking there is less lubrication of the eye, which leads to that irritated eye feeling that we all know. 

We tend to blink less often when we are looking at a screen, and additionally, it has been found that even when we do blink, there is a tendency to blink incompletely. The inevitable result is dry, stinging eyes and eye fatigue.  Studies have shown that instructing a person merely to increase the blink rate may be ineffective or impractical. It is better to concentrate on achieving complete blinks in order to remove symptoms of tiredness and dryness. 

Blinking produces tears which not only lubricate your eyes but also brings important nutrients to them. If you squeeze your eyes shut for a few seconds this helps to produce tears whenever you need to lubricate your eyes. 

Other tips include:

  • The computer screen should be slightly below eye level. Do not look up at it. Keep it 1.5 – 2 feet away from your eyes.
  • Adjust the screen brightness to a level that is comfortable for your eyes. Not too bright or too dim. 
  • Microsoft and Apple computers have Accessibility settings that allow their users to magnify the font and computer screen. There are also several  computer screen magnifiers that can provide higher magnification when needed.
  • Never leave your papers lying flat on your desk while looking back and forth from screen to paper. Use a document holder positioned near your screen or find one that attaches to your screen.
  • Take frequent breaks from your computer. Look away from the workstation. Use your distance vision and give your close-up vision a rest. Close your eyes for a few seconds to rest them as well. Many eye specialists recommend 20/20/20 – which is a simple way to remember that every 20 minutes, you should take 20 seconds to look at least 20 feet away while blinking at a quicker rate than normal. Better still, give your body and mind a break too by moving around, doing some stretches and even going outside for fresh air.
  • Try ‘palming’ exercises occasionally. These can be very soothing. Cover your eyes with your hands in such a way that your palms are cupped over each eye without touching them. Partly interlace your fingers. Once in place, open your eyes gently and move your hands in order to exclude as much light as possible. Remain with eyes open in this darkened environment for a few seconds, and then close your eyes for another few seconds. This is refreshing for eyes and mind.
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