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How do Computer Screens Contribute to Eye Strain?

Why do people feel like they're straining their eyes while working at a computer?

A Lot of people complain that they strain their eyes when working at a computer. When you're working at a computer, you're not blinking as much as you normally do, so you're drying out the surface of your eyes. Some people feel like they're straining their eyes because they're not getting a good read on the depth of where the computer screen is. It is the same case as when you feel like you're straining your eyes while reading a book. When you're reading a book, you're not blinking as much either. There's also the factor of how far away the book is, the screen is, or the television is.

Get your eyes checked 

It's important to get checked by a doctor to make sure that your difficulty in seeing is not being caused by a more serious problem. You might need glasses, or you may have dry eye. Your vision might be blurry because of a cataract, or in a severe case you might even have glaucoma taking away some of your vision. Before you say, 'let me just put in an eye drop', or ignore it, get checked to see what might help you.

What does working at a computer do to your vision?

In this day in age, it seems we are all spending most of our time looking at screens - whether it be a computer screen at work, a mobile phone screen, or a television screen to relax. What effect does working at a computer screen for more than three hours have on a person? While working at a computer screen may not permanently damage the eyes, it can cause strain or exacerbate existing eye conditions. Computers can have an effect on your vision because your eyes follow the same path over and over, and it can potentially become worse the longer you continue the movement. While working at the computer, your eyes have to focus and refocus all the time, requiring a lot of effort from your eye muscles. Those who spend multiple hours at a computer screen may experience eye discomfort, headaches, itchy/dry/watery eyes, changes in color perception, blurred vision, or difficulty focusing.

What is eyestrain? 

Staring at a computer screen can cause eyestrain. Eyestrain is a type of repetitive strain injury, that is commonly caused by glare. There are two types of glare, direct and indirect. Direct glare is where light shines directly into your eyes, whereas indirect glare is caused by light reflecting off surfaces into your eyes. From a computer, glare often results from the screen being too dark or too bright, leading to muscle fatigue for the eyes and having to struggle to make out the images/words on the screen. Another major cause of eyestrain with computers is the position of the screen. Naturally, our eyes are positioned so they look straight ahead and slightly down, so if your computer screen is positioned incorrectly, the eye muscles must work harder to continually hold the correct position to view the screen. It is recommended to avoid this type of strain by having the top of your computer screen no higher than eye level. Furthermore, unlike reading a hard copy paper book, a computer screen adds contrast, flicker, and glare, which can lead to eye irritation.

You are more likely to have problems working at a computer if you already have eye or vision problems, if you are required to wear glasses but do not, or if you wear the wrong prescription glasses for computer use. Be sure to speak with your doctor to make sure you are taking the best care of your eyes as possible.