Blink to Reduce Eye Strain

The next time you get tired staring at your computer screen, start batting your eyes at it.


Most people, whether they are logged on at work or at home, forget to blink as often as they should, causing their eyes to dry up. That often translates into itching or burning eyes, double vision, or blurriness.

A study by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety shows that nearly 90 percent of employees who work with computers for more than three hours a day suffer some form of eyestrain.

"Few people stop to consider the downside of technology," says Stanley Teplick, M.D., an ophthalmologist and member of the Better Vision Institute advisory council in Rosslyn, Virginia. "Computers are very hard on the eyes."

Another way to protect your peepers, says Dr. Teplick, is to avoid that other major eye vexation, glare. Some tips:

  • Get the light right. Don't keep a bright light right behind your computer screen, and don't put your computer in front of a large window. You shouldn't work in the dark, either. The contrast between the light from your computer screen and the lack of background light can really strain your eyes.
  • Look around. Take a 10-minute eye break every hour. Find something else to do at your desk or get a drink of water.
  • Get a checkup. If your eyes still don"t feel better, see your eye doctor.
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