Tips for Avoiding Computer Eye Strain

Use proper lighting. Decrease sunlight with window coverings and avoid overhead fluorescent lights. Floor lights that provide indirect lighting are a better alternative. Switching to full spectrum fluorescent lights can be more comfortable as well.

Minimize glare. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor. Darker walls with a matte finish are also better than bright white walls. Upgrade your monitor. Select a screen with the highest resolution possible. 19″ in diameter or larger with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller is recommended for desktop computers.

Take breaks. Take a minimum of two 15 minute breaks and 4 two-minute breaks in an 8 hour period. Stand up, move around and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.

Adjust your work area. Sit 20-40 inches from your monitor. If you look between paper and your computer throughout the day, place written pages on a document holder adjacent to your monitor. Light the copy stand, but do not have the light shine in your eyes or on the monitor.

Consider computer eyewear. You may benefit from having your eye care professional modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customized computer glasses. Computer glasses are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.

Get a comprehensive eye exam. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recommends computer users have a yearly eye exam. Consult with your doctor about additional factors that may impact your eye comfort. Let your doctor know how often you use a computer, measure how far your eyes are from the screen and tell your doctor so he can test your vision at that distance.

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