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Bissell Eye Care - eye strainAre your eyes tired from working too long at your computer? Do you see your kids rubbing their eyes after staring at a tablet or laptop too long? Additional health problems such as physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of work errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes can occur from eye strain.

Eye strain isn’t limited to those in the workforce. With advanced placement classes at school and time spent playing games on the computer, many children suffer from eye strain too. Take these steps to help alleviate the problem.

    1. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam and share with your doctor how much you use the computer at work and at home.
    2. Use proper lighting to help minimize eye strain which can often be caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. The use of drapes or blinds can help to eliminate exterior light and using fewer light bulbs, a desk lamp, floor lamp or fluorescent tubes can help minimize interior lighting.
    3. Minimize glare by installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish.
    4. Upgrade your screen by replacing your old tube-style monitor with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers. When choosing a new flat panel display, select a screen with the highest resolution possible. Resolution is related to the “dot pitch” of the display. Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.
    5. Adjust your computer display settings for brightness, text size, contrast and color temperature. For Microsoft Windows operating system display settings are found in the Control Panel. Apple users can find them in the Systems Preferences.
    6. Blink more often to moisten your eyes and prevent dryness.
    7. Avoid fatigue by exercising your eyes and looking at a distant object to refocus eye muscles.
    8. Take frequent breaks to not only rest your eyes, but your neck, back and shoulders as well.
    9. Using ergonomic furniture or a stand to hold papers can help to modify your workstation and avoid eye strain.
    10. Consider computer eyewear for extensive computer work. Individuals might benefit from having your eye care professional 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 sustained computer work.

Experiencing regular eye strain isn’t normal. If you or your family suffer from eye strain, take steps to modify your environment, avoid extensive time infront of a computer screen without taking a break and be sure to have regular eye exams.

About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.