According to CNN, the amount of screen time for an average American has reached 10 hours a day. That’s tremendously bad news for your eye health as this means that computer eye strain, not a poor-quality makeup is your main enemy. The good news is that there are ways to relieve that strain quite effectively, but they’ll require dedication and even some equipment changes.
5 Effective Tips for Computer Eye Strain Relief
- Improve your lighting
Note that the exact configuration of lights is a matter of personal preference and comfort. However, it’s essential to keep the ambient lighting less bright than the screen. This means using drapes to block out direct sunlight and removing too-bright fluorescent lights. Covering the windows will also help you reduce the glare, which is another source of computer eye strain.
The main source of light (window, lamp) should be located to the side of the screen, instead of directly above, in front of, or behind it. If you have an opportunity to do this, install floor lights that provide light in the spectrum similar to sunlight.
- Choose the right display settings
Like lights, your personal settings should be dictated by your own comfort. If you have to spend many hours watching the screen, especially working with high-contrast applications (readers and word processors), lower the brightness. You should have it at about the same level as your immediate surroundings or a little bit higher.
The ‘color temperature’ of the screen can have a big effect on computer eye strain relief. Think of how ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ colors match different skin types. Well, ‘cold’ blue light increases the strain on your eyes because it’s short-wavelength. Red-orange light is more comfortable for long-term comfort. The screen ‘color temperature’ can be adjusted through display settings available on the Control Panel of your operation system.
- Embrace the 20-20-20 rule
Professional optometrists advise a simple 20-20-20 rule that can not only help with computer eye strain relief. It’s also an effective prevention against blepharitis and dry eye syndrome. Both these conditions can be caused by extended screen time because focusing on the display reduces your blinking. This means your eyes don’t get ‘oiled’ well enough and can become inflamed.
The 20-20-20 rule states that you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes of screen time. There’s no need to measure the exact distance to the object, but the point is to look at something quite a bit away. Studying the world outside your window will be a good choice. If you wear glasses, be sure to take them off for occasional breaks.
- Adjust your workstation
Switching from printed text to screen causes an extra level of computer eye strain. If your job demands this, make some kind of setup that will allow you to place printed pages on the same level as the screen. Also, adjust lights and display brightness to the point where they are about the same level.
Don’t forget about your posture as well. To ensure maximum comfort and health, your screed should be located about 20-24 inches away and right in front of you, so you don’t have to tilt your head to see it.
- Use protective eyewear
Buying a pair of glasses with specialized lenses is one of the most efficient tools for long-term computer eye strain relief. However, they don’t work out for everyone, so you’ll need to judge whether to stick to them based on your personal comfort level. Note that in some cases, regular sunglasses can do the trick, as long as they have top-quality anti-glare lenses.
In the digital world of today, not using computers, smartphones, and other gadgets with screens is nearly impossible. So, the best you can do is to do everything within your power to reduce the computer eye strain.