Exercise your eyes.

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times. This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.

Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.

Take frequent breaks.

To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent screen breaks during your work day (at least one 10-minute break every hour).

During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.

Modify your workstation.

If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, place the written pages on a copy stand adjacent to your screen.

Light the copy stand properly. You may want to use a desk lamp, but make sure it doesn’t shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.

Poor posture also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height so your feet rest comfortably on the floor.

Position your computer screen so it’s 30-40cm from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.

Consider computer glasses.

For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye doctor modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customized computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during extended screen time.

Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.

Also, you may want to consider photochromic lenses or lightly tinted lenses for computer eyewear to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful blue light emitted by digital devices. Ask your eye doctor for details and advice.

Kobrin & Martin Sandton offer Colorimetry, the best option for professionals who work longs hours on spreadsheets. The Colorimetry test is best suited for people who work for long hours on computers using spreadsheets and MS Word. White as the default background colour is not always the best for our eyes. Colorimetry is an individualised test to assess which colour is the best suited for your eyes. The test results are provided so that you may adjust your computer’s colour settings to best suit your individual need.

Find out more here: https://www.kobrinmartin.co.za/colorimetry/

If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned in our previous post, please feel free to let us know. There will be more help tips in next week’s update.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician or doctor.

For more information please call us or visit

KOBRIN & MARTIN OPTOMETRISTS, SANDTON

Tel: 011 884 8413  |  kobrinmartin@telkomsa.net