Workplace and Eye Wellness Month – Computers and Eyestrain

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The Clarus Eye Centre team includes nationally recognized and fellowship-trained ophthalmologists (from left) Drs. Stephen Reck, Penny Reck, Jay Rudd, and Gary Scholes.


Submitted by Dr. Anna M. Gunn, O.D. for Clarus Eye Centre

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Dr. Anna Gunn, optometrist at Clarus Eye Centre provides complete eye examinations, pediatric evaluations, and co-management of ocular surgery in both the Dupont and Lacey offices.

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:

  • Headache
  • 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.

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