Are your eyes tired and dry after a long day? Do they bother you after you’ve been staring at a computer screen, driving or reading? It could be eye strain, a common and often preventable condition. These tips from Oregon Eye Specialists doctors can help you protect your eyes and stay productive at work.
Eye strain from computers, driving and more
Whatever your job, you probably use a computer, smart phone or tablet for work or play. But staring at the screen can make your eyes feel dry, tired and irritated. Driving, reading printed materials or looking through a microscope for long periods can also cause eye strain.
Tips for avoiding computer eye strain:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Remind yourself to blink. Research shows people blink just half as often as normal when looking at a screen.
- Try a computer screen filter to reduce glare, and don’t use light that shines directly on your screen.
- Take regular breaks. The rest of your body will thank you, too.
- Place your monitor about 2 feet away from your eyes, adjusted so you look down slightly to see it.
- If you wear glasses or contacts, talk to your eye doctor. You might need computer glasses for screen time. Every Oregon Eye Specialists clinic has a Sight Shop right next door, making it easy to find the proper eyewear.
Ways to relieve computer eye strain:
- Try artificial tears to relieve dry eyes. Ask your eye doctor about the best type and brand.
- Put a warm, damp washcloth on your eyes for a few minutes.
- Take out your contacts and wear your glasses for a while. (If your glasses aren’t comfortable, talk to your Sight Shop optician or contact us to have them checked.
- Get enough sleep at night. Sleeping rests your eyes, which can relieve tiredness and irritation.
Should I see a doctor about eye strain?
Maybe. If you have double vision, headaches, vision changes or eye pain, see an eye doctor.
Eye strain can be a sign of an underlying eye problem. For example, some people have trouble reading comfortably because they have astigmatism or need reading glasses. An eye doctor can check your vision and talk with you about your options.
Wondering if you might have eye strain? Contact Oregon Eye Specialists for an appointment or call us at 503 935-5580. With 10 convenient locations, we have a clinic near you.