Computer Vision Syndrome and How to Relax Your Eyes at Work

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Most jobs in the modern-day include coming into contact with a computer screen at some point in the day. Although you may get out for a leg stretch over your lunch hour, or take a brisk jog before the day begins, it’s worth remembering that you have two other very unique muscles in your body that also need some attention during the working day.

Looking after your eyes should be just as much a priority as working those biceps and sculpting your abdomen: like any other muscle in your body, your eyes can become tired and lethargic, especially in the workplace if you’re spending hours staring at a computer screen. These three tips will help keep your eyes relaxed and in tip-top condition.

Keep your blink rate up

The tear film that covers and lubricates the eye is a defence mechanism against dryness and dust particles. Staring continually at a computer screen prevents us from blinking as often as recommended, a healthy rate of 15-20 blinks per minute allows steady maintenance of the tear film. However, whilst using computer screens our blink rate can drop to as low as 4 per minute, leading to dry and irritable eyes, causing us to suffer from headaches and discomfort.

Taking time out of your working schedule to blink every 3 or 4 seconds for one minute will allow your eyes to rest. This will heighten your blinking back to a recommended rate of around 20 and clean the cornea by replenishing the tear film.

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Change your environment

Symptoms such as headaches, double vision, tired eyes or eye twitches, can all be signs that you’re suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS occurs when there is not enough contrast and definition around the edges of text and images, causing the eye to drift into a reduced level of focus.

Changing your environment for a few minutes, ideally by going outside and taking a breath of fresh air, allow your eyes to flutter across numerous objects at different distances. This continuous focusing activity and movement will rest your ciliary muscles, and reduce the amount of stress that has been accumulated over prolonged use of the computer screen.

Reducing  glare

If you’re using an older CRT computer monitor, the best way to reduce glare is with an anti glare screen to minimize the brightness, allowing your eyes to relax. Alternatively, using a more up to date LCD screen will cause less flickering and be easier on the eyes. If you really want to get rid of that nasty glare, then dulling down any bright white office walls with a dash of matte paint to absorb the light rather than bouncing it around the office. However, do remember to keep the room well-lit with plenty of natural light and low intensity bulbs to avoid straining the eyes and increasing your chances of CVS.

Following these three simple steps will give your eyes plenty of time to rest and recuperate. Your eyes are one of the most important muscles in your body, and definitely deserve looking after while you cope with the demands of your working day.

About the Author

Kevin McNulty is a regular blogger and works for so you can trust him to give you great advice on your eye health.