Eye safety at the computer

July 6, 2015 Providence Health Team

If you stare at your computer screen for many hours each day, eye strain may be a safety concern. Find out about symptoms and how to prevent it.

Time spent staring at a screen is increasing for most Americans every year. After spending hours in front of the computer at work, people go home only to find themselves in front of a computer or mobile device until it’s time for bed. With this much screen time, eye strain has become a safety concern.

Symptoms of eye strain

  • Red, watery, irritated eyes
  • Tired, aching or heavy eyelids
  • Problems with focusing
  • Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid
  • Headaches and backaches

How to avoid eye strain

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you can avoid eyestrain by making the following changes:

  • Position the computer screen slightly further away than where you would normally hold a reading material
  • Position the screen at or slightly below eye level
  • Minimize lighting reflections and glare
  • Keep the screen clean and dust-free

It’s also important to take periodic rest breaks to avoid eye fatigue. If you tend to scratch or rub your eyes by the end of the day, it’s probably because your eyes are dry. Keep your eyes lubricated by either blinking while in front of the computer or using eye drops.

If it’s been years since you last saw your eye doctor, or if you’ve never had your eyes checked, make an appointment today for a complete eye exam and to learn other ways to keep your eyes safe for years to come.

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