Dealing With Eyestrain
by Amy Scholten, MPH
You have been sitting at your computer for hours. You have your ergonomic workstation, so your arms and wrists do not hurt. You have your ergonomic chair, so your back and shoulders do not hurt. And you have met your goals for the day. So, you feel great. That is, except for one thing...two actually...your eyes!
Staring at the Screen
Many forms of work can lead to eyestrain. The most common cause of eyestrain today is long hours at the computer. This is called computer vision syndrome (CVS).
Our eyes are designed to shift from objects that are near and far. This should happen often. But at the computer, it does not. Instead, the eyes focus on a single, close-up object for a long time. This can lead to eyestrain.
Symptoms of eyestrain may be:
Eyeglasses May Help
How can eyestrain be avoided? First, have a yearly eye exam. Make sure there are no problems with your eyes. If needed, special eyeglasses or lenses may help ease your eyestrain. These products are designed for working at a computer screen.
General Tips for Preventing Eyestrain
Other steps that may help reduce eyestrain are:
If you work in front of a screen, make these adjustments:
To have good lighting on and around your computer screen:
Minor adjustments can often make a big difference.
American Academy of Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Computer vision syndrome. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-and-vision-conditions/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y. Accessed June 15, 2021.
Eye strain: how to prevent tired eyes. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-eye-strain. Accessed June 15, 2021.
Keep your eyes healthy. National Eye Institute (NEI) website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips. Accessed June 15, 2021.
Randolph SA. Computer vision syndrome. 2017;65(7):328.
Last reviewed June 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 6/15/2021
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