Submitted by Dr. Anna M. Gunn, O.D. for Clarus Eye Centre
For most people in the work place, it is impossible to go through a day without spending significant time on the computer. I often get asked if long-term computer use can damage the eyes. The good news is that eyestrain from the computer is not associated with any long-term consequences. However, it can be bothersome and uncomfortable.
The following are signs and symptoms of eyestrain:
- Sore neck or back
- Tired, burning, or itching eyes
- Blurred vision
For most jobs, it is impossible to limit time on the computer. Instead, I recommend focusing on some habits that can help limit the stress placed on your eyes. Think about some of these tips if you have been experiencing any symptoms of eyestrain:
- Take breaks during work – even if it’s simply looking away from the monitor every few minutes, your eyes may feel much better.
- Consider using an artificial tear drop – working on the computer reduces the rate at which we blink. This can dry out the eyes and make them feel more uncomfortable.
- Get appropriate eyewear – make sure your contacts and glasses are optimal for computer use. Often an “office lens.” which optimizes computer vision, can greatly reduce eyestrain.
- Position your monitor properly – for most people it is comfortable to have their monitor at arm’s length. Also, consider lowering your monitor so that you look slightly down at the screen.
I hope these tips will help alleviate any computer eyestrain. However, if your symptoms still persist, don’t hesitate to get your eyes checked.