Today’s office environments rely more heavily than ever before on technology for managing daily activities. While computers, smartphones and tablets have surely impacted the ways in which many businesses operate in overwhelmingly positive ways, plenty of repercussions have come along with the benefits of technological advancements. For modern professionals, one of the biggest complaints is in relation to eye strain, which is often a direct result of too much “screen time” at work and at home.
With studies indicating that 50-90% of computer users suffer from “computer vision syndrome” to some extent, everyone who works in front of a computer should do whatever possible curb eye strain—here are just a few ways to get started today.
Start with an Eye Exam
If you’re experiencing eye strain of any kind and can’t remember when you last had your eyes examined, now’s the time to schedule an appointment. Computer vision syndrome can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms to arise, but eye strain may also serve as a warning sign of a developing problem. Rather than simply assuming your eye strain is due to too much time on the computer, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to ensure that an underlying medical condition isn’t causing your symptoms.
Change Your Lighting
Many people don’t realize that the lighting in their office may actually be contributing to eye strain due to computer vision syndrome. Overhead fluorescent lighting, for example, can add excessive amounts of bright light to a workspace, thus making the problem worse for those who are already starting at a screen for hours throughout the day. If at all possible, petition to change the lighting where you work if you find the current setup to be obtrusive. Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting may provide additional benefits, such as enhanced mood during dark winter months.
Tweak Your Display Settings
You can get quite a bit of mileage out of adjusting your computer’s display settings, which may not be optimized for preventing eye strain currently. Settings such as brightness, contrast, font size and more can all be adjusted to best match your personal preferences—you can even adjust color temperature to ensure you aren’t getting too much blue light exposure throughout the day.
Get Rid of Glare
Glare is one of the top factors that can contribute to eye strain, and it can come in a variety of different forms—on walls/finished surfaces, off windows and—especially—on your computer screen. Short of painting the walls of your office a different color, reducing ambient glare may be a real challenge. You can start, however, by installing an anti-glare screen on your computer monitor, which can sometimes make a world of difference for those who have been suffering from eye strain.
Eye strain can lead to headaches, difficulty concentrating and sensitivity to light among other unpleasant symptoms. Take action, however, and you can reduce your chances of having to deal with this unpleasant side effect of office work going forward.