Although eyestrain is not harmful, this common and annoying eye condition makes your eyes tired, itchy and burning. It can be considered as a sign of an underlying condition that may need medical treatment or undiagnosed eye ailment.

To prevent eyestrain, we enumerate helpful measures to reduce its occurrence.

  1. Take eye breaks.
    Give your eyes a break they need by forcing them to focus on something other than your computer screen. Do the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, avoid looking at your computer monitor and stare at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Perform alternative office related work such as taking phone call or filing.  Try to stand and move around at least once every hour or so. If possible, lean back and close your eyes for a few moments.
  2. Improve air ventilation in your office space.
    When you work indoors, use humidifier or lower thermostat to add moisture to the air. Utilize air cleaner to filter dust. Modifying your space may help in preventing your eyes from drying. Avoid smoking.
  3. Do relaxing exercises.
    Ease muscle tension with relaxation exercises. Do this by placing your elbows on your desk with palms facing up. Let your weight fall forward and your head fall into your hands. Cover your eyes with our hand, extending toward your forehead. Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose. Hold it for four seconds and release the air. Continue doing this deep breathing for 15 to 30 seconds. Perform this exercise several times a day.
  4. Massage your eyelids and muscles over your brow, temple and upper cheek once or twice daily.
    Perform this using your bare hands or fingers or you may opt doing this using a warm towel over closed eyes. Massage gently your upper eyelid against your brow bone for 10 seconds. Then, massage your lower eyelid against the lower bone for 10 seconds. By doing this process, you help stimulate your tear glands, to prevent dry eyes. In addition, massaging the muscles around the eye area helps those muscles to diminish some of the symptoms of eyestrain.
  5. Invest on appropriate eyewear.
    When you wear your eyeglasses or contact lens, ensure that the correction right for computer work. Most lenses are fitted for reading print and may not be optimal for computer work. Getting glasses or contact lenses designed for computer work may serve as a worthwhile investment.
  6. Consider artificial teardrops.
    Doing prolonged sessions in front of the computer leads you to tired and dry eyes. Use over-the-counter artificial tears to prevent and relieve your tired and dry eyes. Choose drops that do not contain preservatives so you can use it more often. Do not use eye drops with redness remover as this produce may worsen the dry eye symptoms.
  7. Blink frequently to refresh your eyes.
    Whenever we use computer too long, it makes us blink less than normal. Make a conscious effort of blinking. Blinking more often allows your eyes to refresh. It helps in producing tears that moisten and refresh your eyes.

If your work requires computer works most of the day, perform these changes:

  • Placing your computer screen 20-26 inches away from your eyes and a little below eye level.
  • Clean your monitor on a regular basis. Remove dust and fingerprints from the screen. Smudges on the screen can lessen contrast and increase glare and reflections.
  • Choose screen that tilt and swivel as well as consider using glare filter over your monitor.

When you are at home, consider doing the following to avert eyestrain:

  • When you do close-up work, see to it that you have light that is well directed on what you are doing. Ensure that you use brighter light source, especially if you have reduced vision.
  • When you read printed materials, try to position the light source behind you and direct the light to the page. If you are reading at your desk, use shaded light positioned in front of you. The shade will keep light from shining directly to your eyes.
  • When you watch TV, keep the room softly lit.
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