So What Causes Eye Strain?
Eye strain is generally caused by sub-optimal working conditions but can vary from person to person. One of the most important things to do is note when you experience the symptoms of eye strain and try to isolate what tasks may be causing your eye strain.
Eye Strain Causes:
1. Focusing the eye muscles for prolonged periods of time:
If you focus your eye muscles on a relatively fixed object such as a computer screen or book then your eye muscles will tighten. If these muscles are tighten for too long they will become sore and irritable. Much like if you are to go to the gym your muscles will feel sore afterward due to you using them in ways you usually wouldn’t in your daily routine. Your eyes are designed to shift their focus between objects that are near and far away from you. To avoid this simply follow the simple 20/20/20 rule.
2. Poor lighting:
If you are working/reading in poor lighting then your eyes are forced to focus under difficult conditions. Make sure your work area is well lit to ease the stress on your eyes.
3. Vision problems:
You eye muscles may be straining due to poor eyesight. This may be because you need corrective glasses, to avoid this make an appointment with your local optometrist to see if you need glasses or need to get you prescription updated. Most optometrist will offer you a free eye check up. Just be sure to check for any hidden obligations.
4. CRT Monitors:
CRT monitors with a refresh rate lower than 70Hz can cause eye strain due to the ‘flickering’ image. As CRT’s age they also go slightly out of focus, which will cause your eye to have to refocus constantly to adjust. This will put extra strain on your eyes. To avoid this simply upgrade your CRT monitor to a LCD monitor. LCD monitors can be purchased from around $200 at amazon.com
5. Direct glare:
Direct glare is when light shines directly into your eyes (e.g sunny windows), this makes it difficult for your eyes to focus which leads to increased strain on the eye muscles. To avoid this make sure your work space is free of any direct glare, this may mean moving your work space or closing blinds to avoid direct glare.
6. Reflected glare:
Reflected glare is the same as direct glare but it’s reflected from a secondary object such as your computer screen. This makes the eye strain because of the different levels of contrast on the screen. This makes it harder for your brain to interpret the image it is seeing and leads to your eyes straining to determine what the image is.
This is the difference between the brightness of the object being viewed and the brightness of the environment around the object. If there is a big difference between the two then it can lead to eye strain. An example of this would be white text on a black background. High contrast can be avoided by making sure your workplace is well lit (ensuring that the environment around your computer is a similar brightness of the computer itself).