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Designers and Developers are always on the screens, so is there any way to lessen our eye strain?

Recently I have increased my work hours and I am getting itchy eyes every night. And I also experienced a little headache at the end of the day. Please give some work-health balance tips.
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David’s Answer


This is a great question and if it is any reassurance, your concern probably affects thousands of computer users. In a time where it is suggested that we not multitask, our eyes are constantly multitasking between computers screens, TV's, iphone, OS popups etc. Unfortunately computers are a necessity of life but like all things, it can be a double edged sword that needs to be managed. I am confident that you can manage this.

Without knowing your medical history, your complaints are probably eye strain and dryness related but it could be musco-skeletal and eye complaints combined. There are other possible factors to include some medical conditions, medications, lack of fluid intake, total caffeine intake, not blinking enough, etc. I totally agree with the previous contributor who emphasized obtaining a competent eye exam from an Opthamologist who can evaluate your complaints. Over the counter tear drops may be helpful with the eye dryness but that suggestion needs to come from a qualified eye professional, which " I am NOT."

In the interim, below are a few suggestions that I hope are helpful and offer more than the previous answer. The best advice I can give you is listen to your body. You only have one set of eyes. I understand that you are probably under some work pressure but I don't think there is any deadline that isn't worth a couple of minutes of "daily me time." Wishing you good health!

David recommends the following next steps:

Increase your water intake to a liter a day. If you drink a lot of caffeine beverages(coffee, caffeinated drinks, energy drinks), decrease if possible.
Make sure your computer screen is at eye level when your head is at a neutral position. This could help your headaches if neck muscle related.
Take an eye break every 1-1.5 hours for 1-2 minutes. Focus on a spot on the wall, relax your eyes, breathe and blink your eyes multiple times.
Do some simple gentle neck stretches and shoulder shrugs twice a day for 2-3 minutes. You can google plenty of muscle stretch/yoga videos.
Try not to use electronic devices of any type one hour before going to bed. A perfect time on just focusing on softly closing and opening your eyes .

I really appreciate the detailed answer. Thank you. Ranjit H.

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Alejandra’s Answer

Hi Ranjit,

I totally get it I had the same issue when I started working as a data scientist. The headache is a sign of eye constraints, this also happened to be. I went to the eye doctor and told them about my headaches and after they examined by eyes they told me what is happening is that my eyes are experiencing fatigue from working so hard all day look at the screen. They ultimately told me I had 20/20 vision but that in order to help my eyes, prevent the headaches, and stop something worse from happening, they gave me very slight prescription glasses. Now, I wear those glasses whenever I'm working on the computer and it has completely eliminated my eye pain and headaches.

They also said that in order to help my eyes I needed to take breaks. They recommended every 15 min I look away from the computer and look into the distance to relax my eyes. They literally recommend I set a timer to remind me to give my eyes a break.

I highly recommend you speak to an eye doctor and let them know your situation since everyone's situation can be different.

Best of luck!

Thank you. Ranjit H.

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chetan’s Answer

Being part of information technology and sitting for hours in front of the screen my eyes get stained and even watery many a times. Aftr visiting my Dr and getting my eyes checked i have started 3 things
1) After every 30 mins get up and move around so as to relax you back as well as the eyes
2) Do eye exercises of focusing at variable focal length objects and also keeping your neck straight and eyes looking at your finger which is 45 - 60 degrees to your right once and then left. Do this 3 times which helps reduce strain on eyes and helps muscle recovery for eyes to focus better
3) Do icing on eyes for 2 mins in morning after wake up and similarly before going to bed.

This has helped me reduce power of my spectacles and also strain on my eyes and headaches to nil.
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David’s Answer

Just adding my personal experience (as a computer user, not as an optometrist/ophthalmologist, which should be your first step to visit for evaluation and advice!):
--Optometrist can prescribe "computer glasses" that are designed to focus about 2 feet away--the distance to your screen--rather than for distance or reading a book. I found these make text on the screen blacker and sharper.
--My optometrist diagnosed I had clogged oil ducts at the base of my eyelids and prescribed some eyedrops and a cleaning regimen to clean those up; that helped with some irritation I was having.
--Ergonomically the top of your screen should be at eye level, so you're looking slightly down at the screen. Looking up, you tend to blink less than usual.
--Blink! Using screens intensely you tend not the blink as much as you should.

Best of luck!
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Julia’s Answer


Eye strain is something I have to deal with every day and it's the blue light from computer screens that's most troublesome. You can buy blue-light-blocking glasses online (if you don't need regular prescription glasses) or ask your eye doctor to add a blue-light-blocking lens the next time you get glasses (if you do wear them). I also adjusted the settings on my computer to reduce blue light; a lot of computers/external monitors have this setting now.

Hopefully these suggestions help you!