Eliminating computer eye strain

Vision problems like farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia (ageing of the eyes) can all contribute to the development of visual symptoms when using a computer or digital screen device.

Computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain, is a condition caused by computers and digital devices. It results from prolonged screen usage without appropriate eye protection which can lead to eye strain. Common symptoms of computer vision syndrome include blurred vision, eye redness, back or neck pains, dry eyes, double vision, eye fatigue and dizziness. While it does not cause permanent eye damage, following these simple yet effective tips can help to relieve the strain on your eyes.

1. Take A Break

Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.

2. Blink Regularly

Staring at computer screens can dry our eyes and cause redness and irritation. Remembering to blink regularly will allow a new film of tears to cover the eye keeping your eyes moist and preventing them from becoming too dry.

3. Reduce Glare

Positioning your computer screen appropriately for minimal glare and reflection from lights can help reduce the strain on your eyes. Making sure to clean your monitor regularly to remove dust may also help.

4. Computer Glasses

Computer glasses protect your eyes from extended computer use, they help to reduce glare and help eliminate eye strain.

5. Adjusting Your Workstation

The position of your computer monitor can add to your eyestrain. Position your monitor and your seat at the correct height. This will avoid improper posture and slouching.

6. Adjust Light Settings

Altering the brightness of your display reduces the flicker rate of the computer and reduces fatigue. Flickering can lead to headaches. Brightening your monitor allows your pupils to contract, enabling better focus. This reduces the need for your eye to accommodate and enables you to work longer and with more comfort.

7. Schedule A Comprehensive Eye Exam

Computer vision syndrome can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Eyeglass and contact lens wearers should ensure that their prescription is correct. Contact lenses can become dry and uncomfortable during continuous computer work. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that all computer users have an eye exam yearly. Vision is constantly changing, and it is crucial that you are using the correct prescription for your eyes.

8. See Your Eye Care Professional

If you are experiencing any symptoms related to computer vision syndrome, it is important to book an appointment with your ophthalmologist.

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About the expert

Mr Samer Hamada | Consultant Ophthalmologist and Corneal Surgeon

MD, MSc, DO (hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth

I am Samer Hamada, founder and consultant ophthalmic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience in ophthalmology. I am a world-renowned specialist in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. I’m not only a leading surgeon but also the only dual fellowship trained in corneal diseases in children from reputable institutions in the UK.

At Eye Clinic London I work closely with other consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. Our main aim is to make sure our patients get the safest and best treatments available to them. We put your safety before anything else so you can rest assured that if you choose us you will be in the best and safest hands.

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