5 Tricks On How To Work On A Computer With No Harm For Your Eyes

Alex Chernikov
Oct 9, 2018 · 4 min read

In this post, I’ll tell you how I got rid of a headache, dry eyes, eye strain, fatigue and slowed down worsening of my eyesight (or, I hope, even stopped) with 5 simple tricks.

Everyone has heard that computers harm our eyes at least once in their life. If approached carelessly, it’s true.

Not paying attention to the distance between the eyes and the screen (keeping it too close) often causes short-sightedness — it’s when you see distant objects blurred. It became extremely common nowadays. E.g., it affects 1 out of 3 people in the UK.

Awkward positions can also contribute to neck pain and eye strain, too.

Not everyone knows that there’s another bunch of issues you can get because of uninterrupted looking at the screen. In general, it’s called computer vision syndrome (CVS).

When you focus your eyes for too long (and I bet you do), they can’t recover from the strain. As a result, you may get a headache, fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, neck pain, difficulty to refocus. Ever experienced something like that at the end of the day? I did. That’s exactly the computer vision syndrome. According to the Wall Street Journal, CVS affects 90% of people who spend 3+ hours per day at a computer.

So, here are 5 simple tricks on how to overcome the aforementioned symptoms:

Adjust Your Screen

To cross out short-sightedness of your list, you need to keep your screen at least one arm away from your eyes.

Awkward positions can also contribute to neck pain and eye strain, too. Keep your screen at the level of your eyes, i.e. you have to keep your back and head straight while looking at the screen. If you’re bowing your head, make your screen-mount higher.

A guideline to a perfect workplace. Image sSource: Berkeley Lab

Take Regular Breaks

There’s a super simple 20–20–20 rule for it. It says you need to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at a static object 20 ft (6 m) away from you.

20 ft is considered to be the distance when eyes of an average person make zero effort to focus, thus they relax.

Image source: juststand.org

I’m using a timer on my iPhone set up for 20 minutes. If you’re familiar with the myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit, this is probably not the case. It took me just half a day, i.e. around 12 breaks. That’s when I was literally forcing myself not to skip a break. Then it went smoother.

There are also apps which help you take regular breaks. I reviewed three best of them for Mac recently.

Now, as the timer goes off, I’m very relaxed about it. I approach it as tooth brushing. Just another routine I need for my health.

Before taking regular breaks, I was always squeezed out at the end of the day. I didn’t want anything besides some sleep. With breaks, I’m feeling way fresher and not fatigued at all, even after 8 hours at the computer.

Keep Your Eyes Lubricated

Even if regular breaks don’t help to eradicate dry eyes, you can get lubricating eye drops. They’re cheap, available at every drug store and moisturize eyes well — even if you’re blinking not enough.

Blue Light Is Your Enemy

If talking about eye strain, there’s another factor that contributes to it. So if you want to attack it with double force, you should eliminate blue light. Computer screens produce a lot of blue light.

Image source: GarmaOnHealth.com

You can use apps — like f.lux (available for Mac, Windows, Linux) — or special glasses to do so. There are popular Gunnar glasses that filter out blue light, however my optician just put an extra layer on my mass-market Ray-Ban glasses, so I didn’t have to buy an extra pair.

As a benefit, the world looks warmer and more friendly with blue light filtered out!

Reduce Glare

Turn down your monitor brightness. Wipe out your screen — dust and fingerprints increase your eyeball labor. Make sure the lights behind your back don’t reflect on your screen. It affects all glossy screen owners.

I’m never sitting with a window or a lamp behind me, for example.

Bottom Line

I outlined 5 things I’m now keeping my eye on after my recent vision test which showed a 15% drop within a year.

All of them are for free or available at a very little cost (like an extra layer for your glasses), comparing to the cost of fixing your health.

Believe me, it’s easy to start taking breaks or keep the back straight. You’ll get used to all of them after a couple of days. Just always keep in mind that it’s a long-term investment in your health and quality of life.

If there’s something else that makes your eyes strain, let me know. I’ll include it in the article.

Teaching you how to work on a computer with no harm for your health.

Alex Chernikov

Written by

Breaks For Eyes
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