Tips to protect your vision if you stare at a computer screen all day

One-half of all employees in the U.S. use a computer at work. Stare at a computer screen for as little as two hours a day, though, and you could experience eye strain. Also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS), eye strain can include symptoms like eye irritation and redness, headaches, neck stiffness, decreased productivity, physical fatigue, and errors. Because you need to stay on top of your game at work, implement several tips that protect your vision.

Improve Your Screen’s Display

Change the display on your computer screen to make it easier for your eyes to work properly. Start by selecting a high-resolution monitor that’s at least 19 inches. If possible, the monitor should also feature a liquid crystal display, not a cathode ray tube. With this display technology, you experience less image flicker and see less glare as you reduce eye strain.

Adjust the Monitor’s Display Settings

After selecting a monitor with beneficial display options, take time to adjust the settings. These adjustments can protect your vision as you research information, create graphics or build a branded app.

  • Increase the text size and contrast.
  • Use black print and a white background.
  • Match the brightness of the screen to your surroundings.
  • Reduce the color temperature and lower the blue light.

Reduce Glare

Bright light in your office forces you to squint at the screen and increases eye strain. Reduce glare by closing the curtains or blinds. You can also dim the interior lights, install low-intensity bulbs or use a monitor hood or glare guard. Additionally, install an anti-glare lens on your monitor or ask your optician about the anti-glare options for your eyeglasses.

Change your Workstation

With a few visual ergonomic changes, your workstation can promote eye health and protect your vision.

  • Sit on a chair that aligns your spine, supports your lower back and ensures you sit straight.
  • Place papers, books or other reference materials on a raised stand at the same height as your monitor.
  • Set the chair and monitor to the correct height. Ideally, the computer screen should sit 10 to 15 degrees below your line of sight and 20 to 24 inches or one arm’s length away from your eyes.
  • Ensure you’re not stretching, straining or leaning in to see your computer as you answer emails, edit videos or enter data.
  • Clean your screen regularly to remove dust, dirt, fingerprints, and other distractions that affect your view.

Take Breaks

When you get engrossed in completing a presentation, reading a proposal or editing a blog post, you may forget to look away from the screen, which can increase eye dryness, irritation and other strain symptoms. Set an alarm or timer every 20 minutes and focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds as you give your eyes a rest.

You also need to remember to blink. Computer users blink one-third less than non-computer users, so prevent dry eyes and keep your eyes lubricated when you intentionally blink throughout the day.

Stretching also can help you protect your vision. Stand up and stretch your body at least every hour to reduce muscle fatigue and tension and improve focus before you return to work again.

Purchase Computer Glasses

You will experience less eye strain if you wear eyeglasses rather than contact lenses. Computer glasses provide even further protection. They’re modified with lightly tinted or photochromic lenses that reduces blue light exposure and eye strain. If you must wear contact lenses, ask your optician about silicone hydrogel contact lenses since they’re comfortable for many computer users.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Whether your employee benefits include eye exams or you must pay out-of-pocket for this benefit, visit your optometrist at least once a year to check on your eye health. Your eye doctor can also provide personalized advice or therapeutic exercises that help you reduce future eye strain and protect your vision long-term.

With these tips, you protect your vision as you work. For assistance implementing these tips, talk to your human resources department. They can assist you in making workstation changes and other adjustments that support your eye and overall health and remain safe and productive as you stare at your computer each day