Love them or loathe them, computers are a big part of our lives. Many of our customers ask us if there is such a thing as “too much” screen time, and if spending hours looking at screens each day can cause vision problems. 

The answer, according to the American Optometric Association, is yes. They have identified a condition called “computer vision syndrome” or “digital eye strain”.

 If you work with computers a lot, you may experience feelings of tired or strained eyes, dryness of the eyes and even headaches and blurring of your vision. Depending on how your workstation is set up, you could also get muscle aches in your neck, shoulders and wrists.

Wearing the correct prescription lenses is vital – this will help you read small fonts, and reduce eye strain.You can also opt for lenses with Blue Light Protection that reduce the harmful effects of blue light (another consequence go long hours in front of a screen – you can learn more about blue light here)

Vision Works offers a comprehensive eye test for just R90 — book yours today and we can identify any vision issues you may have. Having the right prescription lenses (either glasses or contacts) can make a dramatic difference to how tired your eyes feel after a day of screen work.

HOW CAN I AVOID EYE STRAIN WHEN IM USING MY COMPUTER

Make sure you take regular breaks from your screen — at least two or three times per hour. Look at something further away so that your eyes can refocus. This is a great opportunity to get a glass of water, stretch, or talk to a colleague — all good workplace health tips. 

A good rule of thumb is to follow the ’20-20-20′ rule. after every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something 20 feet away (that’s about 6 metres) for 20 seconds. This will help your eyes to refocus.

Rearrange your workstation so that your screen is not above your natural line of sight. If your screen is too high, you risk getting neck ache from looking up at it all day. Adjust how you’re sitting or lower your screen so that the centre of it is about 10 or 15cm below your eyes, and about 40cm from you.

Bright overhead lighting or sunlight can bounce off your screen and cause glare. Again, try to adjust your surroundings to eliminate this.

Check out the settings on your computer and make sure your screen is neither too bright nor too dark. Ideally, it should match the ambient light where you’re working.
Are you sitting comfortably? Don’t slouch – sit upright and choose a chair that provides enough comfort and support for the whole day.

Follow these tips and you’ll enjoy a healthier relationship between your screen and your eyes – and avoid the discomfort of computer vision syndrome!

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