Computer Use and Eye Strain

Computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint.   Fifty to ninety percent of computer users complain about some type of eye problem.   Problems range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity, increased numbers of work errors to minor annoyances like eye twitching and dry eye.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS).

  • Use proper lighting
    Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting.
  • Minimize glare
    Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain.
  • Upgrade your display
    If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers.

  • Adjust  your computer display settings
    Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

  • Blink more often
    Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

  • Exercise your eyes
    Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes.

  • Take frequent breaks
    To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent breaks during your computer work day.
  • Modify your workstation
    Improper posture during computer work also contributes to computer vision syndrome.
  • Consider computer eyewear
    For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your  eyeglasses   prescription to create customized computer glasses.

Read more about computer use and eye strain (PDF).

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