How to prevent headaches and eyestrain while on the computer

February 28th, 2009 by WordPlop

One way which might help you prevent a headache from being on the computer too long is setting up the screen correctly.

First, make sure your screen is perfectly centered on your desk. The screen should be directly across from your head, meaning if you are looking straight ahead, you see the midpoint of the screen. If you can picture a three dimensional axis in your head, this would mean centering it on the X axis. It is also important that your screen is tilt-centered on the Z axis. This means one edge of the screen should be no farther away from your eyes than the opposite edge. You can center it if you look at your screen from above. If you are reading something on your screen and it’s not centered in this way, your eyes will be strained from zooming in and out and focusing as you read each line of text. For the Y axis, or vertical, your screen should not be centered. It should be lower, and your eyes, when looking straight ahead, should look at the top of the screen, or somewhere near the top. Your eyes get less strained when looking slightly down than up.

Second, don’t set your screen brightness all the way up. Mine is actually at 44% on my main screen, and 50% on my secondary monitor. Full brightness is unnecessary unless you’re doing design work and just strains your eyes. You should find a nice balance between contrast and brightness so that it doesn’t seem too bright. This will be completely different for every monitor, so you have to find this balance on your own.

And finally, try to sit up straight in your chair. When you start sitting a bit sideways or with your head tilted, it makes the physical screen position adjustments useless.

Disclaimer: do not take these tips as medical facts. These may not work for you or might make your problem worse. These are just suggestions from someone who spends a lot of time on the computer. I am not responsible for anything resulting from the use of these suggestions.




Posted in Desktops & Laptops, Tips & Tricks

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6 Responses to “How to prevent headaches and eyestrain while on the computer”

  1. Along with proper ergonomics, taking regular breaks from the computer to do eye exercises can help prevent or reduce the effects of computer eye strain.

    Our eyes and vision were designed for viewing distance as hunters and gatherers, and not for ongoing near work as required by regular computer use. As a result, Computer Eye Strain is becoming one of the major eye complaints heard by eye doctors today.

    Symptoms can include increased myopia, blurred vision, headaches, slow refocusing, difficulty concentrating, neck, shoulder and back pain

    Eye strain can be reduced significantly by taking regular breaks from the computer, resting your eyes, stretching and doing eye exercises.

    For a demo of 3 great eye exercises by Dr. Grossman, one of the Country’s leading behavioral optometrists, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W10j2fL0hy0

    Dr. Grossman also offers his free eye exercise booklet at his website at Natural Eye Care Free Eye Exercises with his 11 favorite eye exercises and acupressure eye points to massage regularly.

    Finally, there is also an excellent section at his website on “Computer Eye Strain” under “Eye Diseases” that provides a Computer Eye Strain “Self-Help“ section with great tips of relieving eyestrain due to computer use.

    Also, a few research studies show that supplementing with 6mg per day of astaxanthin per day significantly improved eye strain at week 2 and 4 of the test period.

    For more information, go to Natural Eye Care for Computer Eye Strain

  2. Thierry says:

    so true! i need to send this onto my brother!

  3. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  4. Can you provide more information on this?

  5. Eye strain can be caused by ergonomics as well as be the sign of other diseases such as macular degeneration. Eye health should be an essential part of our health care priorities.

  6. Good article. It is also helpful to have your neck alignment checked since sitting at the computer results in forward head posture.


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