You’re at work. Your job needs you to stare at a screen the whole day to get it done. You suddenly find that you are feeling sleepy halfway through the day, tired and unable to focus. Your eyes start to get sore, and you think to yourself, could it be your computer screen making me feel this way?
The bad news is, yes it does.
We are surrounded by screens constantly. It could be your phone or watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones. But some screens, especially when you have a job to do, are just unavoidable.
We all know that sitting in front of a computer all day long isn’t healthy. It causes headaches, blurry vision and makes us tired, cranky and sometimes, even fat.
Scientists have actually classified this as a proper disorder called computer vision syndrome (CVS). It is simply labelled as that tired, strained feeling your eyes get after a day in front of a computer screen. In countries like the USA, CVS affects some 64% to 90% of office workers, and can even be diagnosed by a doctor.
The condition likely doesn’t cause permanent eye damage, but it can still affect computer your comfort. The most common symptoms of CVS include eye strain, redness, irritation or dryness, a burning feeling in the eyes, blurred or double vision after computer use, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
So if you are feeling that your energy is taking strain from staring at a screen the whole day, try these easy tricks to help ease your symptoms:
Reposition your computer. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and positioned directly in front of your face, not off to the side. Position the monitor so its center is 10-20cm. below your eyes, which allows the neck to relax while you read and type.
Blink constantly. It should prevent dry eyes. If that doesn’t work, consider using lubricating eye drops. Also make sure air vents aren’t blowing on your face (this can dry out the eyes), and use a humidifier if the room is super dry.
Take regular work breaks. Stand, stretch or just look off into the distance, away from the computer, every 15 minutes or so to give the eyes a break.
Clean the monitor regularly. Dust can decrease screen sharpness, making the eyes work harder.
Move your computer monitor away from the window. Too much light, or glare, is the greatest source of eyestrain for computer users. No matter where your computer screen is relative to a window, adjustable shades, curtains or blinds should be used to effectively control light throughout the day. Avoid facing an un-shaded window, as the difference in brightness between the screen and the outdoors may cause eye stress and discomfort.