Eye Care

Keep Computer Use from Causing Eye Strain with These Helpful Tips

Originally published January 20, 2020

Last updated January 25, 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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More and more people of all ages are straining their eyes to read, watch videos, play games, study and work from the glowing screen of a computer, tablet or smartphone. While modern technology has brought abundant conveniences to everyday life, it is important to note that spending hours on end staring at a bright screen of any size can cause considerable wear and tear to one’s eyesight. The USC Roski Eye Institute is dedicated to providing cutting-edge eye care and advanced ophthalmology treatments designed to treat vision loss. In order to prevent harmful eye strain and vision issues caused by computers, our ophthalmologists strongly suggest the following tips.

The rise of computer vision syndrome

Not unlike other types of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, staring at a bright, flickering monitor causes the eye muscles to strain considerably more than when reading from a paper. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from the effects of computer vision syndrome:

  • Headaches
  • Dry, aching eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Tired, irritated eyes
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Eye twitching

In order to diagnose and create an effective treatment plan for any eye problems, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with a qualified and experienced ophthalmologist. There may be additional factors that could be contributing to painful or uncomfortable issues with your eyes.

Protecting your eyes from computer vision syndrome

If your eyes feel strained or irritated when using a computer or digital device, the following tips may be helpful:

Take a Break – Take your eyes off of the screen roughly every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds to let your eye muscles relax. Remember to keep your eyes well lubricated by blinking often or even using eye drops. Consult with your ophthalmologist for recommended eye drops.

Eliminate Harsh Lighting – Reduce the brightness of your monitor and soften the light in your work space with low intensity light bulbs rather than fluorescent lights. If possible, position your desk so that it does not directly face a window and adjust curtains or blinds throughout the day to accommodate for any bright, natural light streaming through the window.

Adjust Monitor Display Settings – Most monitors emit blue light, which has a shorter wavelength and can strain the eyes more than warmer tones, such as red or orange, that have longer wavelengths. If possible, reduce the color temperature of the monitor to emit more eye-friendly hues than stark white or blue. Also, increase or decrease the text sizes in your display settings for comfortable reading.

Eat a Healthy Diet – While also beneficial for your overall health and wellness, a diet full of leafy greens, fresh fruits, and Omega-3 fish oil may strengthen and preserve eyesight by decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of eye conditions.

Reduce Glare – Bright reflections from your computer screen or other surfaces in your work space can contribute significantly to computer eye strain. Use an anti-glare screen on your monitor and adjust your surroundings to prevent glare.

Schedule an Eye Exam – Other eye issues, such as astigmatism, farsightedness, or uveitis, can increase the painful effects of computer eye strain. Prescription contact lenses or glasses may help correct your vision when using a computer as well as reduce painful symptoms. Your doctor will be able to test for other conditions that may be affecting your sight and can help you determine how far you should be sitting from your computer.

Expert vision care at the USC Roski Eye Institute

The board-certified ophthalmologists at the USC Roski Eye Institute are highly experienced at diagnosing and treating a wide variety of eye conditions, such as computer vision syndrome, and have access to the latest, most advanced diagnostic tools and treatments.

To make an appointment at the USC Roski Eye Institute, please call (323) 442-6335 or contact us to schedule a consultation today.


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