Computers and your eyes

Some people working at computers for long periods of time can suffer from eye strain, eye fatigue difficulty in focusing and headaches.

One reason for this is because eyes need to work harder to focus on the computer screen for prolonged periods and the eye muscles must constantly adjust to keep the screen in focus making your eye muscles work harder. Other reasons can be glare on the screen, inadequate lighting, poor workstation set up, dry eyes or a change in your vision.

What can you do to prevent eye strain?

Make sure your workstation is set up correctly:
  • Place your screen at a comfortable viewing distance and height
  • Use a copy holder close to your screen so you don’t have to keep swivelling your head and changing your eye focus constantly
  • Eliminate or minimise glare on your screen
  • Ensure the lighting is suitable for the work that you do
  • Sit well supported in an adjustable chair
  • Keep your workstation clean to minimise dust
Relax your eyes
  • To start with, sit comfortably with your head straight and your shoulders relaxed
  • Look up to the centre of your forehead, then down to the tip of your nose. Repeat slowly four times
  • Look as far as you can to the left, then as far as you can to the right. Repeat
  • Keeping your head straight and shoulders relaxed, look up to the foremost left-hand corner, then move your eyes across and down to the bottom right, move them up to the top right-hand corner then across and down to the bottom left. Finish by moving them back up to the top left. Repeat
  • Starting with your eyes at the top left corner, look down slowly to your bottom left, across to the bottom right, up to the top right and then across to the top left again. Repeat the other way
  • Finally, to cool down, squeeze eyes tight and blink several times. Relax by placing your palms over your whole eye area and breathing out slowly
Useful links

The information provided is general health information and is not intended to replace advice or care from your medical advisor.

Reduce eye fatigue by:
  • Having hourly breaks away from the desk
  • Changing your focus by regular long distance viewing
  • Keep your fluid intake up
  • Remember to blink!
  • Maybe Artificial Tears
  • Wear glasses if prescribed
  • Consider an eye examination
  • Get a good nights sleep