Since eyes are our windows to the outer world, they come into contact with the dazzling environment around us the most.
We not only use these most vital organs continuously round the clock (except the sleeping time unlike fish), but also constantly expose them to radiation-emitting devices like computers, laptops, televisions, tablets, high-end mobile phones, etc., be it for job-related or entertainment purposes.
This causes our eyes to get tired fast and symptoms like irritation, dry eyes, blurred vision, fatigue, etc. begin to appear resulting in what we call a digital eye strain.
Now, digital eye strain is something we can't really avoid, since we depend so much on computers and gadgets in this age. So, the best way ahead is to take precautionary steps to protect our eyes against the machine-related ills.
Here are 10 steps that you can try to reduce eye strain that is caused by staring at the computer and television screens for extended hours:
1. Get Routine Eye Check-up:
If you want to keep computer vision problems at bay, ensure that you have your eyes checked regularly. Those who are highly dependent on computers for job should make that extra effort to have their eyes examined both before and after their work on a routine basis.
2. Exercise Your Eyes:
Look at objects placed at a distance for 15 seconds. Bring back your focus on a closer object and look at it for another 15 seconds. Again go back. Repeat this 10-15 times. Also rotate your eyeballs, look left and right, up and down. These help your eyes maintain its mobility of focussing.
3. Blink Your Eyes More Often:
Working on computers for long hours makes us stop blinking and it results in them turning dry. Not blinking for long time can evaporate the tears that coat the eyes, leaving them dry. So blink more, so that your eyes remain moist and there is less irritation caused by the dryness. Try this to avoid this problem: Close your eyes every 20 minutes and blink 10 times. You can also splash your eyes with some cold water at times.
4. The 20-20-20 Rule:
Yes, it has got one 20 more than cricket! Under this system, take a short break after every 20 minutes from your work to help your eyes regather. During this time, look at 20-feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will help you avoid eye irritation and blurred vision.
5. Reduce The Computer Or Television’s Glare:
Equip your computer screen with anti-glare screens, so that reflections don't hurt your eyes. Also, try to paint the surrounding walls in white or give them a matte finishing, so that the reflections don't distract your eyes. Try to minimise outside light as well.
6. Adjust The Computer Settings:
Push some of those buttons, fine tune and you will do your eyes a great favour. Options like brightness, contrast, colour display, etc., can be adjusted for a suitable viewing. For Microsoft Windows operating system, the display settings can be adjusted in the Control Panel; while in an Apple computer, they are found in Systems Preferences.
7. Use Computer Eyewear:
Order for glasses that are cutsomised for computer use. For example, take glasses with anti-reflective coating. Avoid using contact lenses if you work in front of computers for long time.
8. Opt For Updated Screens:
Dump those old fat monitors (the cathode-ray tube or CRT) that not only gobble up space on your desk, but also are less friendly for your eyes than the slim LCDs (liquid crystal display). The flickering of images in old monitors make them worse for our eyes. The anti-reflective surfaces of the LCDs are much better instead.
9. Choose A Large Monitor Display:
Viewing on small screens can be strenuous for your eyes and hence, go for bigger screens (more than 19 inches). Even if you are working on laptops, you can fit a projector screen for convenience.
10. Ensure Lighting Is Suitable:
The level of lighting around you should be suitable for your eyes while using a computer or viewing the television. Too much or too little light can make your eyes struggle to adjust, resulting in strain. The light in the ambience should be half as bright as your computer's illumination. Turn off overhead fluorescent lights if there are any.