Do your eyes feel tired, irritated or dry after working a few hours on the computer? Are your Contact Lenses uncomfortable? Do you get cramps, stiffness or numbness in your body parts? If yes, then you may have Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
It is important to recognize the symptoms of eye strain and to take the necessary measures to alleviate these symptoms at the earliest.
With the advent of the digital age and the widespread use of smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers, eye strain is common and can lead to irritability, eye pain, headaches, watering of eyes, itching dryness, redness, burning and inability to focus, blurred vision and swelling.
So, how do we avoid eye strain?
Learn to relax your eyes
Massage your eyes or try eye cupping
This will help relax the muscles around your eyes and give comfort. Rub your hands together to create friction and warmth, cup your palms over your closed eyes and rest them. Breathe normally and relax with your palms on your eyes for five to ten minutes
Staring at a screen can cause dryness. Blinking provides a break and lubricates the eyes by spreading tears evenly (Ideally once every four seconds). Blinking also cleanses your eyes by pushing toxins out from them through tears.
Take a break
Use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and look at something 20 feet away. This will ensure that the chance of straining your eyes is minimized. Taking a break with eyes closed for a few seconds is also good to rehydrate your eyes.
Exercise the muscles in your eyes
This is a good strengthening measure for the muscles in your eyes. Roll your eyes from side to side, up and down and diagonally. Repeat this three to five times for good results. Repeating these exercises a couple of times each day, will prove to be beneficial for your eye muscles.
Changing your Environment
Ease eye shifting
Shifting your eyes constantly means that your eyes need to focus and refocus on different reading materials frequently. If working on a computer and books and papers in parallel, it is advisable to put the material on a stand directly next to the screen. This will ensure that your eyes do not need to refocus and therefore reduces the eye strain. Try learning touch typing, without looking at the keyboard to minimize eye shifting
Use Proper Lighting
Avoid high intensity lamp and use incandescent lights to reduce shadows and glare. In an ideal work environment, there is will be soft lights, limited natural light, no fluorescent lights and surfaces that do not reflect too much light. Switching bulbs and adjusting window blinds in your work space may help reduce eye strain
Ensure your eye prescription is correct
If you are wearing glasses with the wrong prescription, it can contribute to eye strain. If you use bifocals, tilting your head at an awkward angle when using the computer can cause eye strain and you must speak to your doctor to determine if progressive glasses will work better. Also try and buy lenses with an anti-reflective coating to cut down on computer glare.