Eye strain is one of the more annoying parts of living in the modern world. Whether you drive long distances, or you spend your days looking at a computer, eyestrain is a common thing that can cause you discomfort. When your eyes are tired, you should rest them, of course, but how can you avoid eyestrain while still getting things done? While reducing the amount of bright light in your rooms is advisable (and easily accomplished with an indoor window tint), there are several other things you can do to keep eyestrain at bay.

First, recognize that one of the most common causes of eyestrain is prolonged use of digital devices. According to the America Optometric Association, this is called computer vision syndrome. To reduce the amount of eyestrain that comes from CVS, here are 6 tips that can help you.

  1. Correct Your Posture – Make sure that you are in a comfortable seating position with good posture. Your chair height should be set so that your feet can rest comfortably flat on the floor without dangling.
  2. Control the Lighting – The biggest contributor to eyestrain when looking at a monitor is glare that makes it hard to focus on the screen. Do your best to position your screen where there is no glare. That can be accomplished by turning your lights down. You can also replace your bulbs with ones that have lower wattage.
  3. Use an Anti-Glare Screen – Another way of combatting glare and the resulting eyestrain is to use an anti-glare screen. These devices fit over your monitor to soften the light that comes from the screen and also makes them easier to read and focus on.
  4. Take frequent breaks – You know when your eyes are getting tired. When you feel them start to get gummy or you start blinking more, take a ten minute break and step away from your computer. The recommendation is that for every two hours of computer use, you take a 15 minute break. Another way to give your eyes a chance to relax is to look at something else for a few minutes.
  5. Position Your Monitor correctly – You want your computer screen to be a comfortable distance from your eyes. In general, the larger the screen, the farther away you should be. A quick rule of thumb is that the distance between your screen and your eyes should be twice the diagonal width.
  6. Watch the Environment – When we say this, we don’t mean you should recycle. We mean that you should pay attention to your surroundings. Sitting near an HVAC vent can cause air to blow across your eyes, which will lead to more strain. Likewise, watch the positioning of any space heaters you have to make sure they’re not hitting your face.

With these tips, you can help reduce the amount of eyestrain that you suffer at home. Eyestrain doesn’t have to be more than an infrequent annoyance if you remember to take care of yourself. If you do find that nothing you are doing alleviates your eyestrain, you should consult your doctor to see if there’s an underlying cause.

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