Top 17 ways to avoid and reduce eye strain from computer, mobile & television screen

What is eye strain and how to reduce eye strain?

Eye strain is a type discomfort that occurs when the eyes get tired after doing prolong work with the computer, mobile or any particular task. Eye strain from mobile, computer or any kinds of a visual display unit is known as a digital eye strain. Mobile and computer are becoming an important part of human life.  For everything (To send email, message, job, talk with friends, playing games etc) we need computer or mobile. Most of the people are using computer, mobile or television more than 10 hours in a day. Excessive using of mobile or computer or watching television causes eye strain. Eye strain also called asthenopia and the symptoms are nonspecific like occasional headaches, frontal headaches, feelings of dryness, blurring of vision etc. Asthenopia can be caused by refractive error, focusing spasm, anisometropia (Different power in both eyes), voluntary focusing, and eye coordination difficulties. Eye strain related with the computer also called computer vision syndrome (CVS). It does not cause any damages of the eye but sometimes very uncomfortable and feels more at the evening time. According to National Institute of Occupational safety and Health, 90% of people feel eye strain after 3 hours of working computer. The excessive using mobile phone also can cause temporary blindness which is called Transient Smartphone Blindness. There is no medicine to reduce eye strain or computer eye strain permanently. You can follow the below steps to reduce eye strain

A. Medical Treatment:

1. Regular eyes check up- Regular eyes checkup with an eye doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) is important for future. Yearly once eye check-up is recommended for everyone. An eye doctor can explain a better way to prevent your eyes from computer-related eye strain. A headache may be the related to refractive error, excessive computer work, migraine or another health issue. So an eye doctor can guide you in a better way.

2. Anti-glare glasses for computer: – We need to wear glasses if any kinds of refractive error present. Anti-glare or antireflective coating or AR coating glasses increase visibility by reducing glare from a glass surface. Normal glasses allow 92% light through it but with ARC 99% light passes through the center of the lens. AR cut the peripheral rays of the lens which causes glare in the eye. AR-coated glasses are much more beneficial for high index glasses. Many practitioners’ advice zero power anti-reflective glasses to reduce the eye strain. Anti-reflection glass also helps at night driving by minimizing the glare. 

3. Tinted glass: – A light rose or pink tinted glass is the better visual comfort for few computer users.  4. Eye drops: – There is no medicine to reduce eye strain permanently. But doctors often advise lubricating eye drops to reduce dryness of the eye. Usually, blinking rate is lesser than normal while we use visual display unit. Dryness or watering occurs when we not blinking properly. Less blinking causes of redness, dryness, and irritation of eyes along with eye strain. Most of the lubricants eye drops are safe and we need put minimum 2 times in a day, though eye doctor advice for times in a day. Remember every bottle of medicine should be discarded after one month of opening.  

B. Environmental Modification:

5. Proper lighting in room & workstation: – Lighting condition of the room should be good. Sometimes bright sunlight enters through windows and creates excessive glare at the computer screen or blackboard which causes eye strain. We need to eliminate such types of unwanted light. Use low-intensity light or bulbs on the inside of the room. Overhead fluorescence light is sensitive (Create discomfort glare) for some people and they need to close overhead intensity light.

6.Change old monitor: – LCD (Liquid crystal display) have anti-reflective coating surface which is better for the eye than the old CRT (Cathode ray tube) monitor. Images from CRT monitor is flickering more which can cause more eye strain. The refresh rate of a CRT monitor should be ≥ 75Hz to avoid flicker. So change old CRT monitor computer and television to new LCD screen that will helps a lot to reduce eye strain.

7. Adjust computer screen: – proper adjustment of computer screen helps a lot to reduce eye strain. Always try to keep normal display brightness which is as same as surrounding your workstation. Also, need to adjust the size of text and contrast of letters. White background with black word text is always good for eye health. Avoid blue light because shorter wavelength light causes more strain o the eyes. So if you are using Microsoft operating system of your computer then the display settings should be adjusted.

8. Mobile brightness: – Adjust your mobile screen brightness properly. Excessive bright light from the mobile screen can cause strain on our eyes. Also, night time reduce brightness while room illumination is dim. It’s better to avoid use mobile for a long time while room light is off.

C. Self-control and daily routine:-

9. Blinking: – Blink more when you work with the computer or watching any visual display unit. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. That means take a break for every 20 minutes interval and look at the distance which is more than 20 ft, then blink your eyes 20 times. We often forget to blink while working with the computer which causes temporary dryness of eyes. 

Blinking to reduce eye strain
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10. Location of computer screen: – Sit properly when you work with the computer. Always main the proper sitting position while working with the computer. Maintain 40-75 cm distance of computer screen from your eyes and sit straight (90-100 degree). Your eye level and computer mid screen should be same level or monitor screen level will be slightly down. 
Proper sitting position with the computer. Photo source
  11. Avoid blue light: – Blue light is a shorter wavelength light that presents everywhere. Blue light is not good for eyes. Indoor blue light sources are mobile, television and computer screen. Overnight using mobile, laptop or watching television helps insomnia. For mobile and computer, we can use blue light filter protection app to protect our eyes.
Computer glass with blue blocking features
12. Wash your eyes frequently: – Try to clean your eyes with fresh clean water. This will reduce dryness of your eyes and flush out dust from eyes. 13. Lid margin clean: – Proper cleaning of lid margin is important. Meibomian glands are located at the lid margin. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) causes various problems our eye like dryness, itching, burning sensation etc that can increase strain. Blepharitis also occurs if eyelids are unhealthy which causes dryness, redness and burning sensation of eyes. Regular cleaning of eyelid margin and hot fomentation will help to maintain eyelid margin healthy. 14. Palming: – Rub your hand against to each other. While it’s become little hot then slowly put the palm on eyes. It will relax your eyes. Do it 5 times for 3-4 times daily. 15. Eye exercise: – Do eye exercise regularly. Software professionals must do 20-20-20 exercise daily and other eye movement exercises. Eye movement exercise will relax six extraocular muscles of the eye.
  • First sit comfortably and look straight. Then Look up and down without moving the head for 5 times. Do this at least 2 times in a day. 
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  • Then look left and right in the same way 
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  • Moving eyes diagonally 
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  • Rolling eye in the circle: – Roll your eyes in clockwise for 5 times and repeat this circle 3 times in a day.
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  • Near and far focus: – Sit comfortably then look an object which is more than 20 ft and clearly visible. Then take a pen which approximately distances 40 cm. Now, look at the distance object then slowly look near the tip of the pen and again look distance object. do this thing 10 times for 3 circles in a day.

D. For contact lens users:-

16. Disposable contact lens: – Use frequently disposable contact lenses (Monthly, Bi-weekly or daily) to avoid dryness. Disposable contact lenses help o reduces the chances infection in eyes. Silicone hydrogel lenses are better than normal hydrogel lenses to reduce the lens related dryness of eyes. Clean your contact lenses properly as per advice by the optometrist or your eye care advisor.

17. Stop smoking: – Smoking not only injurious to body health also can cause of eye problem like dryness, redness which may lead to eye strain. Smoking should be avoided as early as possible that will helps a lot to reduce eye strain and good for our health. Stop smoking

There is no medicine to cure this problem because of most of the job dependent on the computer.  We all know that “prevention is better than cure”. Prevention is our hand and that we can do it. It’s true that it is very difficult to maintain all the procedure regularly but we can do some of them to reduce eye strain.

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Krishnendu Mandal

Optometrist, Blogger, Blogging since Jan 2016



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