Working long hours in front of a computer screen can have its share of consequences such as eye fatigue, neck pain, dry eyes, headaches. Here are some tips to help maintain visual comfort and good eye health.

Before personal computers and smartphones, our eyes didn’t have to deal with as much strain as they do today. Today, in the age of digital screens, our eyes are exposed to many images and movements that stimulate them.

Our eyes work very hard. We sit in front of our computers 8 hours or more per day and are exposed to artificial light sources; screens are often positioned too high or too low, poor screen resolution, and disturbing reflections from daylight can take its toll on them.

Here are some rules to follow to help you and your eyes relax.

Adopt the 20-20-20 rule! To help relieve your eyes, it is recommended to apply the 20-20-20 method. This method suggests that to rest your eyes, you should take a 20-second break every 20 minutes from looking at something other than your screen at an object 20 feet away from you.

Remember to blink! We tend to blink less while using computers or smartphones, and this dries out the eyes more quickly. To increase your visual comfort, ask your IRIS Optometrist for a prescription for artificial tears.

Avoid reflections!

When you sit in front of the turned-off screen, you should not see any glare on the surface screen caused by light coming in through a window or from a desk lamp. If this is the case, turn or tilt the screen slightly until the glare disappears. Another solution would be to darken the window with blackout curtains or blinds.

Choose a flat screen!

Working in front of modern flat-panel displays, as found in most offices today, is more restful on the eyes than tube displays, especially when you spend several hours a day in front of the computer. Unlike older tube screens, flat screens do not flicker, the image has more contrast, and the sharpness does not weaken.

Follow the tips below for better visual comfort:

  • Avoid reflections of light and disturbing glares.
  • Make sure that your chair, work surface and screen are at an appropriate height.
  • The recommended distance between your eyes and the screen is 60 to 90 centimetres.
  • Look for the most pleasant brightness and optimal contrast on the screen.
  • Enlargen the image so that you can use the entire width of the screen.
  • Eliminate unnecessary screen buttons that reduce the usable screen area (ex. markers, footers, etc.).
  • Clean your screen regularly.
  • Give your eyes regular rest with the 20-20-20 method.
  • Drink lots of water! This will help with your hydration, and your eyes will be less dry.