Are your eyes bothering you while at work? Eyestrain is a common problem found in the workplace and with schoolwork. This is even more common with the extended screen time we all have at work and at home. We will cover common symptoms, causes and treatments in this blog.
Common symptoms of eyestrain include the following:
• Tired, uncomfortable, or burning eyes
• Watery or dry eyes
• Blurred or double vision
• Increased sensitivity to light
• Sore neck, shoulders or back
Common causes of eyestrain include the following:
• Looking at digital device screens or reading without breaks to rest your eyes
• Being exposed to bright light or glare
• Having an underlying eye problem
• Driving long distances or doing other activities requiring extended focus
• Being stressed or fatigued
• Exposure to dry, moving air from a fan or HVAC system
• Poor ergonomics
Here are 5 steps that you can apply to treat your eyestrain...
1. Create a work environment that eliminates risk factors. Minimize excess lighting by closing blinds/curtains and using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Position your monitor so that it is not directly in front of a window. Make sure you monitor is at distance of 20-25 inches from your face. Position the center of your screen 10-15 degrees below your eyes to maintain comfortable positioning of your head and neck. Have a comfortable chair that allows you to sit upright with good posture while working at your desk. Make sure you don’t sit in the path of a fan or vent that will lead to drying out of your eyes.
2. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away and close your eyes for a moment.
3. Remember to blink. Typically, we blink about 15 times per minute. However, when we are reading or looking at a digital device our blink rate is often reduced to 4-8 times per minute. When we don’t blink enough, our eyes dry out and feel tired or strained.
4. Have an eye examination to rule out any uncorrected vision error such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Correcting your vision with glasses, contact lenses or surgical vision correction can make a big difference. If glare is a problem, a light tint can also improve symptoms.
5. Have an eye examination to look for signs of dry eye. If found, there are a number of treatment options. Your doctor and you will work to find a treatment regimen that works best for you.