Spending long hours in front of the computer can take its toll on our eyes and is one of the most common causes of headaches, especially in the workplace. Experiencing headaches while at work is just plain annoying as it affects our productivity and overall mood while in the office. Luckily, there are a few simple steps people can take to reduce the occurrence of eyestrain at work and the headaches that come with it.
1. Have enough ambient light. Some people think that working in a darker environment can help them see the computer monitor better; however, it is one of the primary causes of eyestrain. Make sure that the workplace is bright enough to keep the eyes relaxed while working.
2. Remove as much glare on the screen as possible. While working in a well-lit room is ideal, make sure that the lights on the computer screen do not reflect directly into your eyes. You can use a monitor filter or re-position your computer monitor as not to reflect the lights coming from the ceiling.
3. Set your screen resolution to a comfortable size. Frequent squinting can cause eyestrain and having to read small font on the computer screen would require people to squint more often. If you don’t know how to adjust the screen resolution to a more comfortable size, ask for help from your technical support group or from a co-worker who knows how to do it.
4. Take more short breaks and perform eye exercises. Taking a 3-5 minute break every 30 minutes can help soothe the eyes by focusing on something else other than what’s on the screen. You can also use this short break to perform simple eye and head exercises that could relax your eyes and the muscles on your neck.
5. Have a well-proportioned work space. Make sure that you are sitting at a height that is comfortable for you and is properly proportioned to your computer screen. You can also adjust your monitor’s height to make sure that the screen is at eye-level.
6. Position documents as near to the monitor as possible. While refocusing our eyes at regular intervals can be beneficial in preventing eyestrain and headaches, switching our focus from a document to the screen frequently can also cause these to occur. Use a clip, holder or a document stand to keep the document in place near the computer screen. This will help make it easier for the eyes to refocus.
7. Consult an eye doctor and inquire about computer–friendly glasses. Prescription eyewear does not protect the eyes from a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome which is also one of the leading causes of headaches in the workplace. These special glasses not only absorb glare, they also help the eyes focus on the characters on the screen better. People who wear computer glasses at work find that the screen appears clearer and they feel more comfortable working long hours in front of the computer.
Computers can help people work faster and more efficiently; however, if we do not take care of our eyes, we can suffer from daily headaches and other discomforts eyestrain can bring. If headaches persist even after taking steps to prevent eyestrain headaches or after giving the eyes ample time to rest, consult a headache specialist to find out what is causing the headaches.