Updated 13 February 2015

Computers and your eyes

Here are some tips for tired eyes, and tips to minimise computer discomfort.

Interestingly enough, most symptoms e.g. eyes feeling irritated or fatigued and blurry vision, are caused by poor lighting and not the computer screen. You can minimise eyestrain and computer discomfort.

Tips for tired eyes:

  • Rest your eyes by gazing into the distance every 15 minutes while reading or working at your computer.
  • Blink a few times.
  • Cup your hands over your eyes to rest them, or shut your eyes for a few moments.

Ten tips to minimise computer discomfort

  1. Adjust you workstation in order to sit upright and comfortably, with enough knee, leg, arm and elbow space.
  2. Locate your monitor screen about 40 tot 76 cm from your eyes.
  3. The top of the screen should be slightly lower than your horizontal eye level. Tilt the top of the screen away from you at a ten to twenty degree angle.
  4. Place documents holders close to the screen.
  5. Keep your screen and keyboard in line.
  6. Keep your screen clean of fingerprints and dust.
  7. Your screen should not be brighter than your surroundings. Overall room light should not be too harsh or too dark.
  8. Your screen background should not be dull and your screen characters bright enough to see with ease.
  9. .Minimise reflected glare by anti-glare screens or dimmer switches on lights.
  10. Your screen should not face a window, but away, or at a 90 degree angle. You should not be able to see any light bulbs or windows reflected in the screen.

Read more:
Eyesight and eye care basics
Glasses and Contact Lenses
Pterygium, the filmy membrane

Useful resources:

South African Optometric Association
Tel: 011 805 4517

South African National Council for the Blind
Tel: 012 452 3811

Retina South Africa
Tel: 011 622 4904

Ophthalmological Society of South Africa


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