March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Eyestrain is a common occurrence in our visually demanding workplaces. Today’s Vision wants you to know there are a number of ways to reduce or eliminate the factors that contribute to eyestrain.
Key signs and symptoms of eyestrain include sore or tired eyes, itching or burning eyes, sensitivity to light, dry or watery eyes, headaches, difficulty focusing.
There is a high chance that a typical college schedule or office workday involves spending long hours reading, working at a desk, or staring at a computer. The first option you should consider is having your eye doctor prescribe eyeglasses made specifically for the near viewing or computer work that you do. These special glasses may eliminate your eyestrain symptoms.
A poorly designed study or work environment, with elements such as improper lighting, uncomfortable seating, incorrect viewing angles and improper reading or working distances cause visual stress. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimize eyestrain, particularly during computer work:
• Workplace Adjustments
Position the top of your computer monitor below eye level so you look slightly downward when viewing the screen to minimize strain on the eyes and the neck. Adjust the screen brightness so it is most comfortable for you and avoid glare on the computer screen.
• Proper Lighting
Overhead lights can be harsh and often are brighter than necessary. Consider turning some of the lights off so that the room brightness and computer screen brightness are more similar.
• Rest Breaks
Throughout the day, give your eyes a chance to rest. Take several minutes every hour to look away from the computer and allow your eyes to re-adjust. Blink often to refresh the eyes and use artificial tear solutions, if necessary. Your Today’s Vision doctor can recommend the correct brand and dosage for your particular condition.
When seated at a desk, make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Use a chair that is adjustable and provides adequate support for your back. When working at a computer, your arms should form a 90 degree angle at the elbows and your hands should be tilted up slightly to allow your fingers to travel freely over the keyboard.
Making these simple adjustments to your study or work area can pay big dividends in terms of preventing or reducing eyestrain. If you continue to experience eye-related symptoms, be sure to discuss these symptoms with your Today’s Vision optometrist. Annual eye exams are recommended for maximum visual efficiency and comfort.