Eye Health > Ocular Conditions >

Computer Related Vision Problems

Many of us do the bulk of our work on computers. Visual and other task related demands, which require sustained deskwork or reading is stressful on our eyes. Unfortunately we haven’t physically evolved to cope with the stresses and strains that computers put on our visual system. In addition, give us a visual target that may induce subtle flickering and glare as well as changing foregrounds and backgrounds which may reduce contrast and we have a real visual challenge.

Another problem all of us will face when we are over 40 years of age is the natural loss of our ability to focus near objects, and our lack of ability to change our focus from one near target to another. This problem becomes exaggerated if we have a computer screen that is out of the natural field of our bifocals. The added stresses of craning the neck in order to focus our screen properly may cause undue strain and can lead to computer related injuries and loss of productivity.

Special recommendations can be made for computer lenses which allow for more comfortable focusing of the computer screen, and suggestions on coatings which can be applied to lenses which decrease glare and make computer screen viewing easier and less fatiguing. Our Optometrists are committed to work with our patients to help alleviate the symptoms of computer vision eyestrain.

Here are some things you can do to ease the strain:
  • Take frequent breaks. Focus on more distant objects (>5feet away) or close your eyes. Relax. If possible, lean back and close your eyes for a few moments.
  • Try the 20/20 rule – for every 20 minutes of work, take a 20 second break.  
  • Get up and move around at least once every 2 hours to give your eyes a rest.
  •  Blink more often. Your eyes need natural lubrication that blinking provides. Computer users blink less than normal resulting in dry, itchy eyes.
  • Adjust your work space. Position your monitor 16 to 30 inches from your eyes with the top of the screen at eye level where you can look slightly down at your work. Eliminate reflected glare on your screen from surrounding lights. If you spend the majority of your time at a computer, glasses or contact lenses designed to focus correctly on your computer screen may help. Anti-reflective coatings are recommended.