How Online Students Can Reduce Eyestrain

Taking classes online means you’ll be spending a whole lot of time in front of the computer.  While you may not feel it at first, your eyes may become affected by how much time you sit in front of your computer. In fact, recent reports estimate that about 80% of all computer users suffer from eye strain symptoms, according to an article posted on Computer Vision Syndrome. Eye strain can cause plenty of discomforts, including headaches, back/neck aches, eye twitches and spasms, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Chronic eye strain can take a toll on your eye health, so it is important to know how to reduce eye strain, especially when you sit in front of a computer for long periods of time.

Eye exams are very important in helping to reduce eye strain and common conditions associated with eyes. Getting proper and routine eye exams are a good way to prevent and treat vision problems that may be associated with computer usage. Proper lighting is also a very important step to reducing eye strain and keeping your eyes healthy. Eye strain can be caused by excessive light coming in from outside or from very bright indoor lighting. When working indoors on your computer during the day, it may be best to to close drapes, curtains, and blinds, and to reduce interior lighting by using either fewer light bulbs or those that have lower intensity. Fluorescent lights may also be the cause of eye strain, so if you can do without those, that is probably best.

Your actual computer screen may also be the reason for eye strain. Glares on your screen, from walls, and reflections from your computer screen are all likely causes of eye strain. Look into installing an anti-glare screen to your monitor – they can be found at most computer and office stores and are fairly inexpensive. Glares from open windows can affect you eyes as well, so be sure to close windows during the day and work with artificial lighting. The actual display on your screen also may be affecting your eyes so you should adjust your brightness and contrast settings as well your font settings to make them easier for you to read. Black texts on a white background, high-contrast, dark-on-light combinations, and big enough font and text sizes are best for your eyes.

Blinking when working long hours on a computer can also help to reduce eye strain by rewetting your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. Exercising your eyes and taking them off the screen for short periods of time also helps in reducing eye strain. Some eye doctors recommend the "20-20-20 rule" which encourages individuals to look away from their computers every 20 minutes, at something at least 20 feet away, for about 20 seconds, according to an article posted on the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which lists more tips for saving your vision.

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