Ways to Reduce Eye Strain from Technology

If you’re at your computer for hours each day — whether your work calls for it or you spend your leisure time browsing, emailing, and checking social media — you’re at risk for eye strain. Eye strain from technology, also called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, can hit you after more than two hours of staring at a screen.

According to the Vision Council, more than 80% of adults use digital devices for more than two hours a day. About 60 percent of those digital device-using adults experience eye strain. You can only imagine what the rate is for teenagers.

Eye Strain Symptoms

Eye strain symptoms vary. For those who wear glasses or contacts, eye strain can signal that you need a new prescription. For those who don’t wear glasses, eye strain can be a sign that you may need them. Symptoms include:

Causes of Eye Strain

The main reason for eye strain is that you’re spending too much time staring at a screen. This prolonged intense concentration makes your eyes tired. But other factors contribute to eye strain as well.

The lighting in your office can be a factor, for one. Too much glare or too little light can strain your eyes. Also, not getting an adequate amount of sleep can make your eyes as tired as your body. Stress and fatigue can contribute to eye fatigue too.  

Taking a Break and Other Ways to Reduce Eye Strain

At Dr. David R. Frazee Family Eyecare, we want you to know that eye strain is easy to combat. Remind yourself to take breaks from staring at your computer. If you add a walk or a stretch to those breaks, you help your back, shoulders, and neck too. Other ways to reduce eye strain include:

Make sure your eyeglass prescription is correct

Sometimes your eyes are tired or strained because your prescription needs to be updated. If you do need new glasses, consider getting glasses specially designed for computer work. These lenses usually come with a coating that helps prevent glare.

Reduce glare

Glare from your screen or office lighting can increase eye strain. A glare cover for your screen can help. Adjusting the lighting can too. Try to reduce overhead lighting and use a floor or desk lamp instead.

Re-adjust your computer settings

Increasing the font size and lowering the brightness on your computer can help make your eyes less prone to eye strain.


Often when you’re focused or concentrating on a task, you don’t blink as frequently as you should. This can lead to dry eyes. Remember to blink frequently. Or keep a bottle of artificial tears handy so you can use them when you’re taking your break to make sure your eyes are adequately lubricated. Using a humidifier also helps reduce dry eyes.

Position yourself properly

Make sure you’re about an arm’s distance away from the screen and that the top of the screen is just below eye level. You can do this with some books or magazines to prop up your screen if necessary or by adjusting your chair.

Take breaks with the 20-20-20 rule

For every 20 minutes that you’re in front of the computer, take a break by looking at something 20 feet ahead of you for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a well-needed break and forces you to blink.

If you want more advice on how to reduce eye strain from technology, call Dr. Frazee at his Richardson, Texas, office or make an appointment online through this website.

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