Why do my eyes feel so tired at the computer?

According to the American Optometric Association, Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a group of physical and visual symptoms that many people experience after prolonged computer use.  Common symptoms of CVS include headache, neck pain, eye strain, blurred vision, focusing problems, and irritated eyes.  Because letters aren’t as precise, contrast isn’t as good, and glare or reflections are present, reading on a computer screen can be much more difficult than reading printed materials.

What can be done to alleviate the symptoms from Computer Vision Syndrome?

  • Take frequent breaks. Every 15-20 minutes look up from the computer screen at something far away (ie: the clock on the wall) to allow the eye muscles to relax and refocus.
  • Get a computer eye exam.  Often a separate glasses prescription is needed for computer viewing. Be sure to tell your optometrist the specifics of your visual demands when you are using a computer.
  • Blink more often.  Studies show that people blink much less frequently when viewing a computer.  It sounds simple, but blinking helps you see more clearly by keeping your eye lubricated, moist, and comfortable.
  • Reduce glare.  If you wear prescription glasses, make sure they have an anti-reflective coating. Covering windows or purchasing an anti-glare screen for your monitor may also help.
  • Adjust your workstation. To allow viewing the screen with your head and neck in a comfortable position, the monitor should be about 20-26 inches from your eyes and slightly below eye level.  


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