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How can I protect my eyes while using a computer?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Try these tips to help ease the strain on your eyes caused by working on the computer for long periods of time:
  • Do "pencil pushups": Hold a pencil at arms’ length, then bring it as close to your nose as you can while still able to focus your eyes. Repeat about 20 times.
  • Position your computer screen to avoid glare, or use an anti-glare screen.
  • Every 20 minutes, look into the distance for 20 seconds to refocus.
  • Rest your eyes for 15 minutes after 2 hours of continuous computer use.
  • Consciously make an effort to blink more often. People typically blink less while looking at a screen.
  • Use eye drops as needed to relieve dry eyes.
  • Talk to your eye doctor. Some people may beneft from eyeglasses specifically for computer use.
To protect your eyes while using a computer your goal should be to reduce the strain on your eyes. Do things like cutting down the glare from direct light reflecting on your computer screen or changing your desk arrangement. Also, take breaks at least every 20 minutes when working on the computer and make sure you blink frequently to keep your eyes moist. Adjusting the screen to the brightness and contrast that is comfortable for you is also a good idea.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Set your computer on a low table, or use a portable computer so your eyes look down when you work. This keeps the eyelid opening smaller, which reduces your chance of developing the condition dry eye. Also change your computer’s flicker rate to 70 or above to help reduce irritation.

Look up from the screen every 20 minutes or so and stare 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds. If you sit at a computer all day, take a 10-minute break every two hours and go for a walk.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.