Five Ways to Ease Your Eyes from Screen Strain

Family watching television, c. 1958

Image via Wikipedia

Did you know that 70% of Americans suffer from computer vision syndrome?

CVS happens when you stare at the computer for too long.

I discovered some valuable insight into this problem from Eye Care magazine published by HealthMonitor.

This type of “near work” strains the muscles in your eyes that focus on near objects and you also tend to blink less, which can dry out eyes.

Symptoms include blurry vision, headaches and strained, dry or tired eyes.

According to eye specialists, there are five simple steps that can help alleviate this.

1.     Follow the two-foot rule: sit about 25 inches away from your computer and tilt the screen to so you look down on your work.

2.     Get rid of the glare: glare from overhead lighting and the sun can reflect off your screen…this contributes to eye strain.  Dim the lights around your workspace and use shades or curtains to avoid direct light.  You could also try an attachable anti-glare screen for your computer.

3.     Take breaks: follow the 20-20-20 rule…every 20 minutes, look 20 feet across the room for at least 20 seconds.  In this way you will be activating your distance vision.  Blink often and take mini-breaks away from your desk.  Close your eyes briefly and practice deep breathing which also helps relax the eye muscles.

4.     Check your prescription: if you or your children wear glasses, make sure the prescription is up-to-date.  Eyes do change and it is important to see your eye doctor on a yearly basis, especially if you wear glasses.  If you or your children are having eye problems whether you wear glasses or not, please make an appointment…our eyes are so precious and they are not replaceable.

5.     Moisturize: staring at a computer screen, especially in an air-conditioned room, can lead to dry eyes.  Use artificial tears or a desktop humidifier and remember the 20-20-20 rule…look away and blink.

Many of us do lots of close work and when you add up the time children spend reading books and doing homework assignments, playing or working on the computer or other electronic devices and watching TV, you’ll agree that it’s really important for them to follow these simple steps as well.

Now that school is starting, many preschoolers will be left at home without older brothers or sisters to play with them.  If you’d like to provide great activities for your young child (other than sitting in front of a TV or computer monitor), please visit my websitewhere you can purchase a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking at 50% off the cover price.  This award-winning resource for busy parents will provide you with 100 picture book story suggestions and summaries and gives you an eco-friendly craft activity and a child-friendly recipe for each recommended title…FRESH IDEAS FOR A NEW SCHOOL YEAR!  BTW, it’s also available on Kindle!

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2018), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, cooking, playing Monopoly with my 8-year old grandson and fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on August 13, 2011, in 5 simple steps, anti-glare screen, children, eye care, eye muscles, health, Homeschooling, keeping children healthy, parenting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Good tips. Also great to just get up and move around. 😀


  2. Excellent tips, Vivian! While my daughter is not a computer person till now, I have to put these into practice for my own sorry self! LOL. Thank you for sharing!


  3. Nice tips, Vivian! Thank you for sharing 🙂



  4. Thanks for the reminders as we can hurt our eyes from all that staring; from the computer to the TV!
    How are you doing? Long time no hear. 🙂
    TY! 🙂


    • You’d think the summer would be a more relaxed time…but it really hasn’t been…and I’ve not had the time needed to write my daily posts or even visit other blogs as much as I had been. I hope to get back to writing, although now i’m thinking of starting my next book…but it will be a smaller one than the first. The next in the Positive Parental Participation Series: Show Me How! Celebrating A Year of Holidays Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. I’m not sure if I will have 12 “chapters”, one for each month of the year…with 2 books (and related craft & recipe) for the holiday/holidays of that month…or just choose several holidays: Christmas, Hannukah, Easter, Passover, Valentine’s Day, etc. and have a chapter with several books (and crafts and recipes) for each of those. Maybe I need to put together a focus group to get some feedback. 🙂 What are your thoughts? Also, I’d like to do an ongoing “contest” to solicit book suggestions/craft projects/recipes from bloggers…if their suggestion is used in the book, I’ll send them a free copy when it is published. 🙂


  5. Great tips! I keep visine on hand just for this. My husband use to get headaches when he would try to do work on the computer. Just a slight change in his prescription made all the difference to him.


    • Thanks for stopping by…and for sharing such an important, but sometimes overlooked, reason for eye strain and headaches. As you say, just a small change in prescription can make so much difference for someone who wears glasses. 🙂


  6. What a great post! I’m glad that you wrote something about that topic; it should make sense yet not many follow good practice, right? I didn’t know dry eyes could be such a bad condition.
    Love reading you blog so much that I awarded you the Versatile Award.


    • So lovely of you to stop by and add such great comments!!!! And THANK YOU for the Versatile Blogger Award…I feel badly because for many months, I was blogging EVERY day…things just got too busy with my book stuff and I feel like I’ve been slacking. 🙂 But I will try to step up and get back into the swing of writing more regularly.


  1. Pingback: Ease your eyes « Dragonfly Scrolls

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