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Take steps to prevent eyestrain

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Do you ever find yourself rubbing your eyes, blinking repeatedly and looking away from your computer screen? You may be experiencing eyestrain. The American Osteopathic Association notes that as more and more workers stare at computer screens and monitors all day, side effects from eyestrain – including blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes and frequent blinking – are becoming common.

For most people, eyestrain results from focusing too intently on a screen and not blinking enough, according to AOA. To help relieve eyestrain, try to blink more or use artificial tears. Other tips AOA recommends to prevent eyestrain include:

  • Ensure your working space is properly lit. This may mean closing blinds to prevent glare and avoiding fluorescent lights.
  • To help diminish glare, place an anti-glare screen on your monitor and paint walls dark colors.
  • Take regular rest breaks (every few hours for five minutes) to allow your eyes to relax.
  • Position your monitor 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes.
  • Ask your eye care provider about devices that might help, such as anti-reflective lenses or bifocal lenses.
  • If the text size on your monitor is too small, adjust it until it is big enough to comfortably read. Generally, this means increasing the text size by about three times.
  • If you are younger than 40, AOA recommends seeing an eye doctor at least every other year; people 40 and older should make annual appointments.