Eye Protection Computer Strain

Eye strain is a problem for many people, especially those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen or television. However, by taking a few special precautions, you can prevent or limit eye strain in many instances.

Those who work in front of a computer screen are not the only ones at risk. People who surf the Internet for long periods of time, play computer games for hours on end and watch lots of television are all also be putting themselves at risk for eye strain.

Preventing Eye Strain

When you’re in front of a computer or doing any other activity that strains the eyes, follow these tips:

  • Blink often when doing straining activities to avoid drying your eyes out. If it helps, use over-the-counter eye drops.
  • Look away for at least a minute several times a day when working on a computer. Make sure your eyes focus on other objects.
  • Make sure that you visit your eye doctor yearly. If you need glasses or contacts, wear them as directed, especially when doing activities that might strain your eyes.
  • Rest your eyes and change your pace by getting up or closing your eyes for a few minutes every hour. Ideally, take a five-minute break period where you do other activities that won’t strain your eyes.
  • Use relaxation techniques several times through the day. Release tension by practicing some deep breathing exercises.

In some cases, simple organizational tips can help to relieve eye strain. Try these suggestions:

  • Adjust the lighting in any situation that typically strains your eyes. Bright lighting, fluorescent lighting and sunlight tend to strain your eyes. Turning off a few lights or readjusting your computer screen can help. Keep in mind that desk lamps are not only easier on the eyes, but they also tend to be more easily adjusted, should you need to dim the lights further to relieve your eye strain.
  • Keep any other references or materials that you need near your computer and at the same angle as the screen. This will ensure that your eyes don’t have to constantly readjust themselves.
  • Make sure your keyboard is directly in front of your computer monitor so that you are looking straight at the screen instead of looking at it from an angle.
  • When using a computer, make sure it’s positioned 20 inches to 28 inches from your eyes. If you can’t read type on the screen, adjust your settings to increase font size.

Eye Strain Prevention Exercises

Some ophthalmologists recommend that their patients who suffer from eye strain practice eye exercises. Your eye doctor can recommend effective eye exercises for your particular case. Similarly, books and DVDs geared towards eye health also provide instructions for eye exercises.

In some cases, eye strain will persist even when patients are practicing eye exercises, resting their eyes and using eye drops. Occasionally, persisting strain can indicate that the person needs glasses or contacts. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, get your prescription checked, as it may have changed since your last eye doctor visit.


Betterbodz.com (2001). Eye Strain. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from the Betterbodz.com Web site: http://www.betterbodz.com/library/eye_strain.html.

Mayo Clinic (2007). Eyestrain and your computer screen: Tips for getting relief. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eyestrain/WL00060.

Oklahoma State (n.d.). You Can Prevent Do Something About Eyestrain. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from the OK State Web site: http://www.pp.okstate.edu/ehs/kopykit/eyestrain.htm.