Many of us work on a computer, phone, or tablet all day every single day. Whether you’re at the office, at home, or school, you probably use one of these devices most of your day. While we know that we need to put down our smartphones or step away from the computer, sometimes we don’t have a choice. However, it’s still important to protect your eyes against computer strain. In this article, we discuss ways to protect your eyes against computer strain.
What’s So Bad About Computer Screens?
Computer screens, phone screens, tablet screens, and other screens we look at all day long have a few problems. One of the problems is blue light instead of warm light. Do you ever unplug your laptop and notice that the screen get dimmer? Do you notice that your eyes hurt a little less looking at it? This is relatively the same concept.
Bright, blue light strains the eye because we look at a bright screen all day. The blue light also disrupts your sleep cycle at night because your body thinks that it is still day time.
Screens also flicker, have a glare, and have small text that you have to zoom in on or squint to see. When you see a glare on your computer screen, you have trouble seeing what’s on your screen. If you can’t find a good position to put your laptop in, you’ll spend a lot of time during your day craning your neck to see words.
Closing the blinds is a simple solution, but if you work in an office with large windows this is usually not an option. Additionally, varying sizes of text across platforms, websites, and documents you are opening can cause you to have additional eye strain trying to see the letters. This is especially true when there are multiple different sizes and styles on one page.
Solutions to Computer Strain on Your Eyes
While the best solution is to not use your computer, phone, or tablet as much, these are not viable options for many people. Instead, focus on what you can do to minimize the computer strain that you cause your eyes by staring at screens. To combat computer eye strain, change your screen temperature, use proper posture and distance, and take breaks.
As previously mentioned, most computer and phone screens give off blue light. This light causes eye strain and disrupts sleep schedules over time. Instead of dealing with this day in and day out, you have a few options. The first is to talk to your optometrist about trying special yellow tint glasses or anti-glare glasses for your computer work. These reduce eye strain in the long term. Your next option is a little simpler: go to the settings on your display and change your color temperature from cool to warm. While you may find the resulting colors a little different from what you’re used to, you may also notice a positive change in your eye strain.
Proper Posture and Distance
We’ve all heard it, but having proper posture makes a difference in whether or not you have eye strain. If you slump over, look up at your computer daily, then you may squint to see things against a glare. Additionally, if you are too far away or too close up to your screen, you can cause yourself computer strain.
When both good posture and screen distance combine, there is an easy formula to remember. Your screen should be about an arm’s length away from you and try to relax but be upright. Make sure to roll your shoulders and get up to take short walks every once in a while. Sitting for long periods causes a whole other host of health problems.
This may seem like the easiest option for most people, and that would be to take a short break from staring at your computer. Every 20 minutes to half an hour, take a few moments and look away from your computer screen for a minute or two. Write down an appointment on your calendar, write down a telephone message for a coworker, or organize your file drawers. Don’t switch from your computer screen to your phone screen, though! That defeats the purpose.
Take a break and don’t look at the screen for a minute or two. Even these short breaks are a huge help to your eyes as they rest for a little bit. If it seems impossible to take that break, that’s okay. You’re not necessarily doing your eyes any permanent harm at the computer, but you should strive to take breaks from your phone or computer once you get home for the day to even this out.
Dr. Clifford Myers, MD Eye Care Center is Here to Help
If you are having trouble with computer strain on your eyes, it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Clifford Myers at our Eye Care Center. We can work with you to find practical solutions for your unique situation. We can suggest advice and tips for working with your job or school responsibilities instead of against them. If this sounds like you, give us a call today and we’ll get you scheduled!