How to relieve and prevent computer-induced eye strain

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Alejandra Rangel
How to relieve and prevent computer-induced eye strain

5 signs indicate that we can suffer from it

If you spend many hours in front of the pc, your days are likely to follow a regular pattern. Maybe when you wake up you feel pretty good, but at the end of the day they come to you headache, red eyes and a general feeling of fatigue.

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One reason could lie in poor postures, poor monitor placements, and other physical problems. Another reason, however, could be due to thevisual fatigue caused by computer use, which affects 90% of intensive PC users.

L'asthenopia (scientific name for visual fatigue) occurs when the eyes remain focused on an object at close range (such as a cell phone or computer monitor) for so long that the eye muscles strain.

Over the course of the day, the eye muscles tire and lose the ability to focus optimally. Over time, muscle tension increases, blinking decreases, general discomfort and various other symptoms occur.

If you are not quite sure you are suffering from visual fatigue, check for the following symptoms, and think if you have suffered from them, when you have used the pc, for more than three hours:

- Visual fatigue

In mild cases, fatigue can present itself as a difficulty in focusing objects, particularly when refocusing quickly from one distance to another. When it gets worse, eye strain can lead to eye pain or discomfort.

- Sore eyes

It may feel itchy at first, but as the condition worsens the eyes may start to burn. Significant redness may even arise. All these signs indicate that the eyes are drying up.

- Blurred vision

Text and images become blurry even when the eyes appear to be focused correctly. Alternatively, you may see double. If visual fatigue syndrome is the culprit, the fogging will go away after some rest.

- Headache or dizziness

Both headaches and dizziness are signs that computer eye fatigue has turned into something more serious. You should get checked by a doctor if these symptoms last longer than a day.

- Pain in the neck and shoulders

As your vision worsens and discomfort increases, your body will subconsciously adjust itself so that you can see better. This behavior leads to poor posture which affects the neck, shoulders and even the back.

It is better to deal with the problem as soon as the eyes seem tense or sore, instead of dragging it on for weeks, months or years. Healing is possible as soon as the problem is addressed.

Visual fatigue is usually temporary and begins to resolve when you no longer use your computer or cell phone. In milder cases, the eyes will return to normal in a few hours or the next morning.

How to relieve and prevent computer eye strain

For immediate relief you can use artificial tears, easily purchased in pharmacies or online. Computers cause dry eye syndrome because they decrease blinking when staring at the monitor: less blinking, equal less eye lubrication. The drops can instantly relieve dry, irritated and itchy eyes.

The best products to relieve eye strain when working on the computer

Check out the humidity level present in the room. The drier the room you are in, the faster the moisture will evaporate from your eyes. The ideal percentage of ambient humidity for computer workers is between 30 and 50%.

The ideal would be to stick to rule 20-6-20: every 20 minutes observe something that is 6 meters away for at least 20 seconds. Giving your eye muscles some rest can delay - or even avoid - the onset of eye fatigue and tension.

Fix the monitor in the best possible position. At a minimum, it should be within an arm's length (about half a meter) from the eyes. When looking straight ahead, your eyes should line up with the top of the monitor. In general, the eyes should look from top to bottom.

Watch out for the brightness of the screen. When in doubt, lighter is better than darker. A brighter screen causes the pupils to narrow, which increases the focal range and allows the eyes to focus on the screen with less effort. Then, larger characters are better than small ones.

Consider, if you don't already have them, buying a couple of glasses for use with computers. This type of glasses is like reading glasses, but they are more suitable because they facilitate focusing and require less effort. You can buy a pair from the pharmacy or supermarket, but the ideal thing would be to have a prescription prepared by your trusted eye doctor.

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