Computer Vision syndrome, or as it’s commonly called ‘eyestrain’, is a common problem for those who spend hours in front of a television or computer screen. This is caused by the combination of the monitor’s backlight as well as the glare, and it doesn’t help when you are sitting there staring at a screen for an extended period of time.
Symptoms of eyestrain often include, neck aches, blurry vision, burning eyes, in addition to head throbbing headaches. There are quick fixes to these problems of course, such as doing eye exercises and taking a pain reliever, however preventative measures are usually much more effective in the long-term.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, check out these tips that will help prevent you from developing Computer Vision Syndrome:
- Use the 20-20-20 rule
In order to be sure you are giving your eyes the rest that it needs, always follow the 20-20-20 rule. In order to follow this rule, every 20 minutes find an object that is 20 feet away, and stare at it for 20 seconds. This trick will help give your eyes a break from the bright backlight, and will also exercise your eyes as well. For those of you who work on the computer, there are reminder programs you can download such as Time Out for Mac and BreakTaker for those who are running Windows.
- Adjust your monitor’s position
Slightly tweaking your monitor can make the world of difference, and can go a long way in helping you prevent eyestrain. Be sure that the top of your monitor is at eye level, since you want to be looking down at your work and not up. Also, make sure that you place your monitor about 20-30 inches away from your eyes.
- Use an easy setup
Keep your setup simple, and do not keep work materials spread out across your desk; this will help prevent your eyes from constantly readjusting for your materials various distances. You want to keep it simple by keeping your materials adjacent to your computer and by putting your keyboard directly in front of your monitor.
- Tweak your lighting
Too much light, artificial and natural, can create a glare on your monitor that quickly tires out your eyes. Make sure you have indirect lighting by placing lights or lamps on either side of your monitor, not directly in front of or behind your screen. Try to avoid using harsh fluorescent lights and watch out for natural light, as this can also create a glare on your monitor; especially if you have a glossy screen.
- Opt for an anti-glare screen
Some monitors give you the option to choose between glare and anti-glare, and when you have the choice, choose anti-glare. This will help prevent eyestrain by cutting down on monitor glare, which is important when you are spending hours staring at a screen. If you don’t have the choice, often times there are anti-glare protective coating sheets that can easily be placed on your existing screen that will help with the reflective issue.
- Get a pair of shades
There are glasses out on the market currently that is designed to help offset the negative effects of staring at a screen. One of these solutions is the Gunnar glasses, which are specialized glasses that are tinted yellow in order to offset the cool blue monitor light that is produced. Gunnar glasses also have a magnification feature that makes it easier to read text on screen so you don’t have to squint.