Do your eyes burn or feel tired, itchy or dry at the end of your workday? You may have computer vision syndrome (CVS), or digital eye strain caused by staring at screens for extended periods. CVS causes an estimated ten million eye doctor visits per year, but you can avoid eye strain by improving your workstation and being proactive in your daily routine.
Here are 10 Ways to Reduce Eye Fatigue at Work:
- Select a darker paint color for your office walls and choose a matte finish. White walls or bright paint can cause glare and can increase eye strain.
- Cover the windows in your office with curtains, blinds or shades to reduce incoming light.
- Choose a computer monitor that tilts and swivels.
- Buy an anti-glare screen for your computer monitor.
- Wear blue light filtering glasses. High-energy visible (HEV) blue light can penetrate deep into the retinal cells and lead to eye damage. Wearing these glasses with a special coating protects your eyes from the harmful effects of HEV blue light.
- Blink more often. Most people blink about 18 times per minute, but staring at digital screens decreases blink rates by about 50 percent. You may find it helpful to write “blink” on a note and post it on your computer.
- Take regular breaks and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Get your eyes examined every year. Keeping up with your annual comprehensive eye exams ensures you have an updated prescription and helps you avoid eye disease.
- Measure the distance from your eyes to your screen and show this measurement to your ophthalmologist. Your eye doctor may suggest a different distance to increase eye comfort.
- If you wear contact lenses, alternate with glasses a few times per week to prevent eye dryness. Glasses with anti-reflective coating can reduce glare and prevent eye strain.
Call Your Eye Doctor
Talk with your ophthalmologist about more ways to keep your eyes moist and refreshed at work to prevent digital eye strain. Even if you have had an eye exam within the last year, call your eye doctor if you experience eye pain, double vision, blurred vision or sensitivity to light. One appointment could help restore eye comfort and increase your productivity.