These tips can help you relieve the eyestrain that accompanies more time spent looking at screens.
Eyestrain seems to be a symptom of modern life. For people who work on computers or look at other screens--from mobile devices to televisions--for much of the day, eyestrain can be more than simply an annoyance, causing problems from temporary head and neck pain to long-term conditions such as nearsightedness. But it's not something you need to live with. The best way to relieve eyestrain is to prevent it in the first place. Follow these simple steps.
- Check Your Vision. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure your prescription is up to date. If you don't wear corrective lenses, have your eyes checked. When reading becomes more tiring, consider non-prescription reading glasses available at the local drug store--but only an eye doctor can tell you if that's the right solution for you.
- Shift Your Focus. Your eyes use one set of muscles to focus on objects up close, and another to view those farther away, so shifting your focus occasionally--by looking away from your computer and out the window, for example--will reduce strain. Experts call this the 20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes of close-up work, take a short break by looking at something 20 feet away.
- Reduce Glare. Some computer screens have a shiny surface that can increase eye fatigue. Consider switching to a non-reflective screen or using indirect lighting. At the very least, block out direct sunlight, and set your screen at a 90-degree angle from any direct light source to prevent glare.
- Adjust Contrast. Contrast is the difference between the brightest and darkest areas in view. Generally speaking, your screen (or anything you're reading or working on) should be at higher contrast than things around it, and illuminated at a comfortable level.
- Use Full-Spectrum Lighting. Lighting that mimics the full visual color spectrum of sunlight makes things easier to see. Some incandescent and fluorescent bulbs are designed to broaden the color spectrum they produce. Combining the light from standard incandescents and fluorescents may help, too.
- Hydrate. Dry eyes exacerbate strain. Use an artificial tears product to keep them from drying out.
Finally, taking frequent breaks to get up and walk around gives your eyes, as well as your body and mind, an opportunity to refresh themselves.
The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.