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5 Tips to Relieve Computer Eye Strain

5 Tips to Relieve Computer Eye Strain

Weary, sore eyes after a couple of hours, not to mention a workday on the computer, are a common reality for many.†† Add to that the leisure hours spent online, engaging social media, or looking at a smart phone screen, and itís no mystery why this is a growing condition, according to the American Optometric Association.† This condition even has a medical name: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).† In addition to eye strain, people who suffer from CVS often also suffer from headaches, dry and irritated eyes, and fatigue.

With so many professions being computer dependent, itís nearly impossible for most folks to decrease the time they spend staring at a screen.† So, what can you do to protect your vision?

1. Proper lighting: Whether reading a book or an illuminated digital screen, a desk lamp aimed at your workspace helps minimize eye strain.

2. Proper positioning: Setting your computer in a position so that you are looking downward several inches tends to be the most comfortable for the eyes.† Also, try to minimize the amount of glare and reflections from lights or windows picked up by your screen.

3. Blink: Itís easy to get so caught up in whatís on our monitors that we stare excessively and forget to blink normally. Yet, the tears that wash over our eyes when blinking help prevent irritation and drying.† So, try to be aware of whether or not youíre blinking and blink frequently.

4. Take regular breaks: If possible take a break from the screen every 20-30 minutes, looking at something more distant for half a minute or so.† This shift in focus engages other eye muscles and gives the ones focusing on your monitor some time to relax.

5. Eye exercises: There are a number of exercises you can do to strengthen your eye muscles, including making figure eights with your eyes while keeping your head straight.† Another exercise that requires you to alternate the focus of your eyes (thus engaging different muscles) is a little trickier:† Point your index fingers toward each other, about an inch apart.† Hold them about eight inches away from your eyes at eye level.† Look over your fingers at a distant object while still visually being aware of your fingers.† If youíre doing it right, you will see a little ďhot dogĒ floating between your two fingers (can take a few tries to get it.)† Refocus your eyes on your fingers.† Repeat several times.

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


+ add your own
10:37AM PDT on May 11, 2014

rule of thumb? do not stare at anything

2:54AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013


5:12AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

We've got to protect ourselves

2:39AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank you, great article

7:26PM PST on Mar 5, 2013


5:49AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Thanks for the tips.

9:55AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thank you

7:16AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

good to know

2:06PM PDT on Jun 21, 2011


11:01AM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

Thanks for the info. Good to be reminded.

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