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Top Tips To Reduce Eye Strain Whilst Working On The Computer

The vast majority of people these days will use a computer as part of their job and this often can mean sat in front of a monitor for 8 hours plus per day. In the same way that the muscles in our legs would get tired if we used them all day, the same is true of the muscles in our eyes. In order to continually focus on a computer screen for long periods, our eyes have to continually strain which can result in a number of symptoms that can make you feel uncomfortable. The most common symptoms of eye strain caused by excessive computer use are as follows:

  • Headaches: The number one cause of headaches is eye strain and these are most often caused by prolonged reading or computer use. Headaches caused from computer use are most likely to be located at the front (front) or side (temporal) of your head.
  • Aching eyes: Prolonged computer use is likely to make your eyes ache which will make you continually want to rub them.
  • Red eyes: Your eyes are likely to become red after prolonged computer use and this is due to the fact that we don’t tend to blink as much as we are supposed to do when concentrating on the screen.
  • Loss of focus: You may find you occasionally lose focus whilst working on your computer and this is effectively the muscles in your eyes temporarily ‘giving up’. In order to hold your focus on the computer screen, the muscles in your eyes have to constantly contract to ensure the lens in your eyes functions correctly.
  • Blurred far vision: You may find that after spending a day staring at the computer screen your distance vision may become blurred towards the end of the day. You may notice this blurred vision when driving home after a day in the office!

If you have experienced any of these eye symptoms then the following advice may be of interest to you. By following as many of these tips as possible you should hopefully be able to work on your computer with less eye strain:

  • Take breaks: This will obviously rely on you having an understanding boss but In the long run it will actually make you more productive. It is recommended to have a 5 minute break every hour, during which time it is important to focus your eyes on distance objects. Do not read a book or surf the Internet during your 5 minute break!
  • Remember to blink: Your blink rate will drop to 50% of normal whilst on the computer such is your concentration on the screen. Blinking is important as it replenishes the surface of your eye with oxygen and removes any debris that may have formed from the environment. Not blinking enough will make your eyes feel itchy and stingy.
  • Make sure you have had a recent eye test: The reason your eyes may be straining is because you need glasses or contact lenses and don’t realise it! If you work regularly on a computer you should get your eyes checked every year.
  • Look into the distance: Try and glance to the other end of the office or out of the window every 5 minutes or so. This only has to be for a few second but it will give the muscles in your eyes a bit of temporary relief.
  • Anti-glare screen: Ensure your monitor has an anti-glare screen as this can significantly reduce eye strain. Reflections on the screen are one of the biggest causes of eye strain and headaches.

In summary, spending hours on the computer is demanding on your eyes and you should ensure you give your eyes the best chance to recover. By following the simple tips suggested you will ironically find that you can actually work for longer on the computer than you could previously!

Written By

This was written by Tim Harwood who is a laser trained Optometrist from England. Tim also runs his own web company which allows people to book appointments online. For information on Botox prices you can click here



  1. Jon

    July 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I find that a lot of people who have eye problems when using a computer all have one thing in common: they lean forwards and put their faces close to the screen.

    Avoid doing this, and you will save yourself a lot of problems.

  2. Adam W. Prillis

    July 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    To be honest, when I work with computers, my eyes hurt, it is a rule for me. I think I need to see a doctor.

  3. Nicholas Scott

    August 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Following are some extra tips about Reduce Eye Strain . 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 .

  4. Rachell

    August 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I am working in front of my computer for more than 8 hours a day 🙁
    I know I my eyes felt abused cause its sometimes blurred, sometimes itchy.

  5. Blake

    August 3, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I spend an incredible amount of time at the computer (10+ hours a day, 7 days a week). I have a home office and spend a lot of time working. And even when I decide to watch a TV show, I usually do it on the computer.

    In the past, when I’ve decide that I could use a rest from staring at a computer all day, I usually read a book. But after reading this, I think I’ll have to start using some of these methods and maybe focus on objects in the distance.

    I haven’t actually noticed any headaches or eye pain before, but it’s probably best that I get into these good habits before I do.


  6. kevin

    August 3, 2011 at 4:46 am

    It is important to keep our eyes healthy.. having breaks is certainly a good idea. nice tips..

  7. terry

    August 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    It is important to give our jobs the best of our performance and that requires focus and could mean long times in front of the computer.. but we must also consider our health and preserve our level of capabilities like in the way our eyes get messed up when we don’t let it rest!! 😉

  8. jorge

    August 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    we should all keep our eyes healthy.. sometimes common sense will be all that you need but either way.. these comments are great! thanks for sharing..

  9. jasmin

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Glare do not really cause eye injury nor cause blurry vision. Yet it can train your to be nearsighted. So make it a habit to relax your eyes by viewing distance objects.

  10. Sandra

    September 7, 2011 at 7:29 am

    My eyes start to hurt as well when I use computer screens as well.
    They become wet and tear when I use it too long.

    It’s really bad to use any screen, tv/laptop/pc/phone/ipad whatever in the dark. So when I work late at night I make sure there are some lights on in the room. This really reduces the hurt I get.

    BTW. why aren’t the anti-glare reflection screens standard yet?

    • Mani

      September 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      @Sandra – I suggest you show a doctor immediately. I had similar problems and it turned out I have slight power:( Even though good lights will help you, do visit your doctor.

  11. Mani

    September 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I have to sit in front of computer for long hours. What I usually do is take a short break of 5 minutes as soon as my eyes start hurting and splash them with water. It has helped me greatly. Sometimes I just leave my work station and walk around.

  12. Chris

    September 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Great article! I’m business analyst so I usually spend easily 10+ hours per day at the office on a computer, usually with little or no breaks so the tips in your article will really help me. Thank you and once again thanks for the great article.

  13. Jerryl

    September 28, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I often work with my computer 10 consecutive hours, after that I take a headache pain reliever because sudden occurrence of migraine headache. Maybe these tips on this post can prevent the occurrence of my migraine headache. I follow these steps. Thanks for this information.

  14. Karen

    November 9, 2011 at 7:11 am

    These guides are very helpful and I want to add one tip that I was just discovered recently. Last month we have our company physical exam and one part of our body to be physically tested is the eye. I have no problem with my eye but due to the nature of my job, they prescribed me an anti-strain glass. I asked them about what is the anti-strain glass and they told that this type of eye glass will prevent eye strain and prevent eye damage on the future. They also told me that this type of eye glass is only used when using computer. So what I am sharing here is that there is now an anti-strain eye glass for preventing eye strain and eye damage.

  15. paul

    April 20, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Being stuck at a job that requires me to continually stare at the screen for hours means I am constantly suffering from eye strain. Headaches are a commonplace for me. Now I tend to sit with the best posture at the right distance away from the screen and make sure I take regular breaks to rest my eyes. Some people like to wet their eyes with water, but it depends on personal preference.

  16. Joana William

    May 1, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Washing your eyes at regular intervals works wonder. You can just splash them with cold water and you yourself will feel the relaxing effect, one of my natural vision optometrist suggested me this.

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