Computer Eye Strain: Symptoms and Solutions

It’s commonplace in the world today for most of us to spend the majority of our working day in close proximity to a computer screen, and for our smartphones to never be far from our sides.

This can have a negative impact on our eyes, as extensive use of computers can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), where our eyes become dry, tired and even strained.

What are the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

While not causing any permanent damage, common symptoms of CVS - including eye fatigue, physical tiredness, eye twitching and red eyes – can cause a lot of discomfort and irritation in the short term.

In addition, use of digital screens often limits the amount of time that we blink, therefore denying our eyes the hydration they need to stay moist and healthy. Dry eye syndrome is when our eyes have become dried out, as a result of tear ducts no longer producing adequate natural tears that our eyes need.

How can I prevent Computer Vision Syndrome?

There are a few things you can do to protect your eyes from the effects of computer use and the risk of dry eye or eye strain.

  1. Practice regular blinking throughout your day when you’re working at the computer.
  2. Make sure to adjust the brightness and screen resolution on your computer. A higher quality resolution and adequately bright screen will make it easier on your eyes as you work.
  3. Make sure there’s proper lighting around your computer. Try to create equal brightness in your workspace so there’s no shadowy areas or glare from lamps to watch out for.
  4. Minimise glare by regularly dusting your computer monitor, or go one step further and install an anti-glare screen, which will help to reduce the strain on your eyes.
  5. Take a break every now and again. It’s best to follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away.