Identifying eyestrain symptoms are easy. The difficult part is associating those symptoms with eyestrain because theyâ€™re so common.
Sore eyes, burning when closed, headache, and even nausea are all indications that you are abusing your eyes.
Most of us experience these symptoms but write them off as the result of a long day. The next time you experience these symptoms, be attentive to the signals your body is sending and try these 6 easy ways to prevent eyestrain.
1. Take breaks
One of the most beneficial things you can do is to find the time to take breaks and do something that doesnâ€™t involve looking at the computer screen.
Go get a glass of water, do a lap around your office, or hand deliver a message to the coworker you were planning on emailing. Your eyes use more than one set of muscles meaning that itâ€™s possible to relax one set while using another.
Try shifting your focus from near to far on a regular basis. Alternate your focus from up close to at least 20 feet away and repeat.
2. The 20-20-20 rule
The 20-20-20 rule is when you look into the distance to let your eyes relax. Itâ€™s an easy trick that drastically contributes to the reduction of eyestrain.
For every 20 minutes that you spend staring at the computer screen, spend 20 seconds looking at objects 20 feet away or anything far enough away so that your eyes arenâ€™t struggling to focus.
3. Incorporate it into your routine
Once you start regularly observing the 20-20-20 rule, youâ€™ll find it easier to incorporate it into your routine than you might think.
Try tweaking the rule to better suit your needs. The important thing is to give your eyes a chance to rest regularly. Thereâ€™s no reason that it has to last exactly 20 minutes. Find a schedule that fits your routine and best suits your needs.
As a side note, you may benefit from adjusting your workspace to be ergonomic. A well designed work environment can go a long way when trying to reduce eyestrain.
4. Reduce glare
Reducing the glare from your computer screen will dramatically reduce the strain on your eyes. Try using non-reflective interfaces whenever possible.
If you have no other option but to use your computer screen, make sure that itâ€™s at a 90-degree angle from any direct light source. Make it a point to use indirect or reflective lighting whenever possible.
The best preventative measure is to use a flat screen monitor because they are not as reflective.
5. Adjust contrast
Ensure that there is good contrast on whatever surface you spend the most time staring at but remember to also reduce the contrast for your peripheral vision. More contrast means more discernible edges which saves your eyes from having to strain to focus.
Having said that, keep in mind that too much contrast with the surrounding area will cause strain through your peripheral vision. Keep the overall lighting at a moderate level so there is good contrast around you, but simultaneously minimize the glare to reduce strain.
6. Adjust color
Use full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting is like sunlight in that it covers the visual spectrum and makes everything easier to see. Adjust the color setting on your monitors and screens accordingly.
Also, try using a combination of fluorescent and incandescent lighting to cover the full visual spectrum. As a bonus, full spectrum lighting has the added benefit of fighting off the â€˜winter blues.â€™
[box type=”note”]Finally, try limiting your overall computer use whenever possible, especially outside of work hours. Itâ€™s difficult to let go of our addiction to technology but give your eyes a rest and get up and take a walk, or read a book.[/box]
If you are feeling the symptoms of strained eyes, try these 6 easy ways to prevent eye strain.