How to avoid eye strain from screens

Take good care of your eyes.

Photo via BenQ

Eye strain is no joke.

Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end can leave you with a headache, a stiff neck, and blurry eyes. 

Computer vision syndrome, a condition caused by staring at screens for prolonged periods of time, can result in eye strain and other related issues like twitching, red eyes, and fatigue. According to a study, 50 percent to 90 percent of office workers have experienced discomfort from eye strain in one form or another. 

But it’s not just office workers that are affected. A study of 642 students between the ages of 11 and 18 found that 70 percent looked at their computer screens for at least two hours a day. Up to half of those students reported having suffered from eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes, and headaches.

But how can you avoid eye strain?

Adjust your lighting

A softly lit room is recommended for healthy eyes. You should look to find the right balance between light and dark. Avoid lights that shine directly at you by positioning your light source behind you. But remember to keep your light switched on when you look at your screen.

Take regular breaks

Follow the “20-20-20 rule.” Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. Focusing on an object at a distance helps to relax the muscles in your eyes, reducing eye strain and fatigue.

Play around with your screen settings

You can adjust the brightness, contrast, font size, and yellow light filter on your computer to ease your vision. Try using Window’s Night light feature to reduce your screen from emitting blue light. Increasing your computer’s refresh rate to reduce flickering is also a sensible option.

Remember to blink 

We normally blink around 15 times a minute, but this drops by as much as a third while looking at screens. This can lead to eye strain, dry eyes, and fatigue. Artificial tears can help to ease this problem.

Visit an optician

Eye strain can happen for any number of reasons. There’s no harm in checking up with an optician to find a definitive answer. An eye test will determine whether it’s screens that are straining your eyes or something else entirely. A change of prescription or new frames is often the solution.