Top 10 Tips to Relieve and Prevent Eye Strain

by David Jenyns

Eyestrain is a common form of eye discomfort that can occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at the computer.

Many of us spend an average of 26 hours a week on their computers at work and at home without realizing the negative effects on their eyes. This can easily give rise to eye problems such as eye strain, eye fatigue, eye stress, eye pain, blurred vision, headaches, and more seriously, eye infections and eye disease.

But you can Avoid eye strain by taking simple precautions. Here are some things you can do to help relieve and even prevent eye strain:

1. Use proper lighting

Avoid working in rooms that are dark or too dim. Using table lamps are better for your eyes than overhead lights. If you’re staring at a TV or monitor, make sure the light in the room is about equal to the brightness of the display.

2. Don’t forget to take breaks

Breaks will allow you to rest your eyes for a few minutes and hence building less stress to avoid eyestrain problems. Try to spend no more than one hour without taking a break. Computer use results in a decrease of blinking to almost one third of normal, putting even more strain than usual on your eyes.

3. Hydrate Eyes

Wash eyes regularly with cold water or use a saline solution in the form of eye drops to prevent dehydration which can lead to dry, itchy eyes.

4. Position the monitor Correctly

Make sure that your monitor is at a height just a little below eye level, optimally at a 15 degree downward angle. This will ensure that you need not strain your eyes to look at the screen. It will also help prevent neck and upper back soreness. Additionally, the monitor should be at arm’s length (20-30 inches) away from your eyes. This will ensure that that your eyes are safe from the glare of the monitor.

5. Exercise your eyes.

Close your eyes tightly for 5 seconds and then open them. Repeat 5 or 6 times. This will temporarily relieve strain and pressure. Lightly pressing a warm washcloth to your eyes once in a while is also a good idea. Don’t ever rub your eyes too hard, though, or you may break blood vessels.

6: Avoid light reflections and glares

Reducing glare will dramatically reduce the strain on your eyes. If you have a window behind you, ensure that you have closed the curtains to avoid any reflections on the monitor screen. Do not make use of fluorescent light in your working room. If you are used to work at night, use a table lamp placed preferably on your left and facing the keyboard, with a white light rather than a yellow one. Use anti-glare technology. Also ensure the use of an anti-glare screen for the monitor if glare is a problem in the work environment.

7. Get lots of rest

Eyes need to sleep just like any other organ in your body. If your eyes are hurting or are bloodshot, you might need to get more sleep. At the very least, you can simply lay down and “rest your eyes” for a while.

8. Invest in a good 17 – 19 inch LCD Monitor

Exchange an old CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor for an LCD (liquid crystal display) one because the latter will give a better quality and a sharper image, thus reducing the need to squint and strain. “The images have sharper edges, which contribute to the overall clarity of what you’re looking at onscreen, which in turn contributes to eye comfort.”

9. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen.

If the screen is either too dark or too bright, this might also cause eyestrain. Hence, remember to always adjust the display settings on your computer so the brightness of the screen is about the same as your work environment.

As a test, try looking at the white background of this web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.

Also, adjust the screen settings to make sure the contrast between the screen background and the on-screen characters is high. And make sure that the text size and color are optimized for the most comfort — read the tips in the sidebar.

10. Get plenty of vitamin.

Taking vitamins can help our eyes stay healthy for a longer period of time. Vitamin A, C, and E are the primary contributors for healthy eyes. All three assist in preventing cataracts from forming and play an important role in the prevention of macular degeneration. Vitamin A prevents night blindness, while Vitamin C acts as the protector of eye health. Vitamin C may also prevent and alleviate glaucoma.

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