- 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!