Most of us use computers, mobiles, tablets and other devices on a daily basis. Whether at work or relaxing at home, we spend a lot of our time staring at illuminated screens. This has led to a rise in eye strain complaints and other visual issues. Luckily, there are many easy ways to reduce these annoyances. Here’s how to treat eye fatigue.
1. Adjust Your Screen’s Display Settings
A screen that’s too bright or too dark can cause eye strain and fatigue as your eyes have to work harder to process the information. Adjust the brightness of your device’s screen so it feels more comfortable to look at.
A bright white screen can also strain your eyes. You can download plugins or apps to adjust the intensity of your screen and help it appear warmer. Many have options that slowly adjust the screen colour and temperature, depending on the time of the day. For example, iPhones have a night mode and you can download the Screen Shader plugin for Google Chrome.
2. Adjust the Text Size and Colour
Text that’s too small or set on a background that doesn’t provide enough contrast is harder to read. This can cause a number of visual-related issues, from eye strain to headaches. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort. The best text size is said to be three times larger than the smallest size you can read normally. As for contrast, the best colour combinations for your eyes is black text on white or vice versa.
3. Have Your Screen a Good Distance Away from Your Eyes
Sitting too close to your computer screen or holding your device too close can damage your eyes. Although it’s not permanent, some symptoms like eye strain and migraines can be long-lasting.
Avoid this by placing your screens a good distance, typically 20 to 26 inches (50 to 65 cm) away from your eyes and slightly below eye level.
4. Minimise Glare
Reduce glare caused by reflections on your device screen by installing anti-glare filters or screens. You can also angle your screens so light doesn’t reflect off them and regularly dust the screen’s surface as smudges can create glare problems.
5. Use Proper Lighting
Whether it’s the fluorescent ceiling lights at work or the sun’s rays streaming in through the window, excessively bright lighting can cause eye strain problems. Reduce these harsh lighting conditions by:
- Using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Use lower intensity bulbs instead.
- Position your screens so the windows are at your side rather than in front or behind you. This reduces glare.
- Use curtains or blinds to reduce the amount of sunlight coming through the windows.
6. Take Regular Breaks
Staring at a screen all day doesn’t just hurt your eyes, it also causes neck, back and shoulder aches. Make sure you take frequent breaks and get away from the screen for a brief period - especially if you’re a computer worker.
A 2007 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study found that eye strain and discomfort were significantly reduced when workers had 20 extra minutes of break time (four extra five-minute breaks) throughout their day. This helped to boost their productivity and motivation at work.
During your breaks, stand up and move around. Make sure you stretch your body (particularly your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders). This will help to relieve tension and muscle fatigue as well as giving your eyes a well-needed break from the screen.
7. Exercise Your Eyes
When your eyes are tired, you’ll find it much harder to focus. Your vision may blur or your eyes may start to ache (which can lead to a headache or a migraine).
Avoid this by looking away from your screen every so often and staring into space or at a distant object for a few seconds.
Remember to use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
Research has found that when we stare into space (also known as “zoning out”), it allows our brains to relax and reset itself after a busy period of working. It also helps our eyes muscles relax, which prevents eye strain and fatigue.
Your boss might not thank us for this tip but there’s actually a good reason why staring into space helps.
8. Blink Often
Blinking isn’t something we really think about but, as it turns out, we should be blinking more often. Studies have found when we stare at a computer screen or read, we blink less. In fact, we blink 66 percent less when we’re looking at a screen. This causes your eyes to feel dry and even start to burn.
Avoid this by remembering to blink more and/or using lubricating eye drops (artificial tears). This is particularly important if you wear contacts as they let less oxygen into the eye and cause eye dryness and general discomfort. Blinking helps the contact to lift slightly off the eye, allowing oxygen to enter as well as moistening the eye.
9. Wear Computer Eyewear
An eye care professional can modify your glasses so that they’re appropriate for computer screens. Computer glasses have special features like anti-glare lenses and anti-reflective coating to optimise your viewing of the screen.
They can also be helpful if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses because these kind of glasses aren’t usually optimised for the distance of your screen.
10. Laser Eye Surgery
Although all of the above options do help to reduce eye strain and fatigue, there can still be other niggling issues - especially if you’re a glasses or contacts wearer. For example, glasses can steam up if it’s hot or if your eyes start watering (creating condensation).
Or you might need to switch between different pairs of glasses if you’re varifocal. You could wear contacts but they can lead to dry eyes, compounded by prolonged computer use..
Laser eye surgery can help eliminate the need for glasses and contacts. A short and virtually painless procedure, it means you can look at your device screens with excellent vision. There’s no need to swap between different pairs of glasses, panic when you think you’ve lost them or blink an excessive amount because you’re wearing contacts.
Want to Find Out More About Laser Eye Surgery and its Benefits?
Your eyes allow you access to one of your most important senses so it’s vital you choose the right method and surgeon when you undergo laser eye surgery. Focus Clinic is the only clinic in the UK with a 100 percent success rate and offer a unique 10-year guarantee for short-sighted procedures, meaning any follow-up treatments (if there are any) will be on us.
This is why we’re the UK’s most trusted laser eye surgery clinic, ranked 1 out of 45 in the category Eye Treatment.
If you’re interested in laser eye surgery with Focus Clinic or just want to know more about the procedure in general, click the button below to get in touch with a member of our team. We offer free consultations so book today.