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Avoid Eye Strain When Working at Your Computer

Digital eye strain can be minimized with a few simple changes.

​I use a computer seven days a week, and it irritates my eyes and gives me a headache. How can I find relief?​

“You can remedy the discomfort that comes with computer use by making some simple adjustments at your desk,” says Laura Zivley, O.D., a Kelsey-Seybold Optometrist. “In many cases, computer eye strain is related to your posture and the ergonomics of your eyes, head and nec​k.”

Approximately 20 million American workers experience eye strain as a result of computer usage. In many cases, poor lighting, bright computer screens and ina​dequate eye wear cause discomfort. “The good news is that these problems are easily ​adjustable to prevent eye fatigue,” notes Dr. Zivley.​

“A good way to adjust the brightness on your screen is to use a filter on your computer monitor. If you wear eyeglasses, be sure they are appropriate for computer work and not just reading printed words. Your eye care provider can prescribe glasses or contact lenses created especially for computer users.”

To ease your headache, Dr. Zivley suggests taking a much-needed break from your computer. “Look away from your computer while you’re at your desk and return phone calls or do work that doesn’t involve the computer,” adds Dr. Zivley. “To prevent the irritation and blurred vision that comes with dry eyes, you may need prescription eye drops. These drops provide moisture and treat the underlying problem to improve the quality of your tears.”

Dr. Zivley notes that you can give your sore eyes the relief they need by changing the way you work on your computer. “However, if your headache won’t go away, or your eye problems persist or worsen, consult your primary care provider or an eye care professional for help.”