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FOX Medical Team

Simple ways to relieve eye strain

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ATLANTA -

Most of us are pretty much hooked on our computers, and that can do a real number on our eyes. If your eyes ache at the end of the day, there are some simple things you can do to give them a break.

You wake up and get on your computer. You go to work, and get on your computer. Then you come home, and get on your computer. During this time your eyes are working overtime, and you're probably feeling it.

If you spend your days and nights staring at a computer screen, Optometrist Reena Gupta of Ansley Eye Care's Dr. Reena Gupta has a name for it: computer vision syndrome. The symptoms are redness, burning, headache, and eye strain.

"Most patients come in complaining, ‘I'm just tired at the end of the day.' You know vision at night is always the biggest issue.  Number one because the contrast isn't as good, but number two because the fatigue that really gets you at the end of the day," said Gupta.

What can you do to relieve tired eyes?

"So, I think the number one thing you can do is make sure you're at a good viewing distance from your computer.  So you want good posture, you want to be kind of at the center of that computer screen," advised Gupta.

Gupta says you want to cut the contrast and the glare by turning down your monitor, cut overhead fluorescent lights, and move away from windows.
     
If you can't change your work station, think about getting a glare-reducing coating on your glasses, or even special computer vision glasses, or a privacy screen,

"What it does is it directs all the light rays to you and it kills the light rays that are going diagonally,  So not only is there extra privacy, but there's less contrast, so there's less eye fatigue in general," said Gupta.

We don't blink as often staring at a computer, which can dry our eyes out. Gupta recommends what she calls the "20-20-20 rule."

"If every 20 minutes you can break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away, you give your eye muscles a break so your eyes are not always in that static environment. It gives your eyes a break to blink, so we can get more moisture into the eyes," said Gupta.

If you can update your computer from a monitor to a flat screen, that can help a lot. Shoot for a screen that is at least 19-inches across. If you can't afford that right now, remember to blink, and take breaks. Your eyes will thank you.

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