5 Tips to Help Minimize Eye Strain

Businesswoman Rubbing Eyes in Office

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Eye strain is a common problem. It can be caused by working on a computer, watching TV, driving or numerous other activities. Your eyes can become fatigued and could lose focus. Severe eye strain can cause some other problems from short term head, and neck aches to long term conditions like Myopia. With that in mind, here are five simple tips to help minimize eye strain.

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Take Breaks

The best way to prevent eye strain is not to use them as much. They're your eyes so that might be difficult to do. Luckily, your eyes use more than one set of muscles. That means you can relax one muscle while using another.

Shift your focus from near to far on a regular basis. Shift focus from up close to at least 20 feet away.

If you are at your computer look out the window for a minute. If you are driving check your speedometer every so often.

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Reduce Glare

Use indirect or reflective lighting whenever possible to reduce glare.

Try switching your monitor or TV to flat screen technology. They are not as reflective.

Use anti-glare technology. Use an anti-glare filter on monitors. Use anti-glare glasses when driving (especially at night) or working in general.

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Adjust Contrast

Ensure there is a good contrast with what you are looking at but reduce contrast for the periphery. More contrast makes edges more discernible, so the eyes don't have to focus as much. But too much contrast with the surrounding area will cause strain through your peripheral vision.

Keep overall lighting levels at a moderate level, so there is good contrast around you, but glare does not become a problem. Use task lighting to aid eyesight at specific tasks.

Adjust the contrast setting on monitors and screens to the best effect.

Use glasses or sunglasses with polarized lenses as they increase contrast and cut down on glare.

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Adjust Color

Use full spectrum lighting. Lighting, like sunlight, that covers the visual spectrum makes things easier to see.

Adjust the color setting on monitors and screens. Some even allow you to adjust the color temperature.

Use a combination of fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Use full spectrum fluorescent bulbs.

GE makes a bulb called "Reveal" that improves the color spectrum of incandescent bulbs dramatically.

Full spectrum lighting has the added benefit of fighting off the "winter blues."

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Strengthen Your Eyes

Eye strain is the strain of the muscles controlling the eyes. Strengthening these muscles with a series of eye exercises will go a long way to preventing eye strain.