How to Relieve Eye Strain

Although your eyes are designed to be used 24 hours a day, focusing on small items for a prolonged period of time, perhaps while reading or working on the computer, commonly causes eye strain. Symptoms of eye strain may include blurred vision, itchy eyes, twitching eyelids, headache and sensitivity to light. These symptoms never are felt when you awake in the morning, but occur during the day when you read too much, focus on the computer or on small objects where the eyes have to strain to focus.

How to Relieve Eye Strain

Do eye exercises which include stretches and squeezes. Stretch your range of vision as far as possible to the right, to the left, down and up. These exercise can be performed with the eyes open or closed.

Change your focus every 15-30 minutes. Look in another direction, or across the street, or change from looking at the computer and getting up for a drink.

Roll or blink your eyes, close them tightly for a few seconds.

Relax your eye muscles by shutting your eyes and relaxing for a little time.

Make sure to get outdoors, in the natural light a few times during the day.

Instead of teardrops consider increasing the amount of high quality Omega3,6, and 9 oils and the amount of pure, flat water you consume daily. Tears are made up of water, mucus, and fat, so increasing good water and oils will make your eyes moist.

Try an over the counter teardrop product to soothe your eyes if they feel dry after reading, knitting or staring at the computer for a particularly long time.

How to Prevent Eye Strain

Give your eyes a one minute break every 20 minutes–this may be enough to avoid the fatigue that leads to strain. Change your area of focus by looking across the room or out the window at an object that is at least 20 feet (6.1 m) away. Focus on the distant object for 1 minute and then briefly close your eyes before resuming work.

Rub your hands together to create friction and warmth, then gently cup your palms over your closed eyes and rest them. Commonly known as “cupping,” this practice can be very soothing.

Exercise the muscles in your eyes. Roll your eyes slowly side to side, up and down and on the diagonals. Repeat this three to five times, a couple of times each day.

Adjust your monitor settings for optimal visibility. Use the brightness and contrast controls, as well as color settings if your monitor has them, to arrive a configuration that causes the least amount of strain. Enlarge the images and fonts you look at, as well.

Use incandescent lighting and avoid high-intensity lamps, which cast shadows and create glare. Place a dim light on either side of your work station to create equal brightness without dark, shadowed areas.

Position your work area with your eyes in mind, particularly if your eye strain is caused from too much computer work. To reduce glare, be sure that neither you nor your computer monitor faces a window. Your monitor should be eye level, 18 to 28 inches (45.7 to 71.1 cm) away from your eyes.

How to Prevent Eye Strain from Computer

Eye strain is the most common complaint of those who work at a computer. It can cause headaches, dry eyes and even blurred vision. There are plenty of ways to avoid this condition, fortunately, and most are inexpensive or even free.

Eliminate electrostatic particles that may be emitted from the computer screen. These particles can push dust toward your eyes, causing irritation and strain. Keeping the monitor at the proper distance will help, but wiping down your screen with an anti-static solution sprayed onto a cloth will help even more. Do this daily.

Turn down your screen’s brightness and turn up the contrast. Screens that are too bright are hard on the eyes; if there’s not enough contrast between blacks and whites on your computer screen, your eyes have a hard time distinguishing between different items and computer eye strain can occur.

The face should be located as far as possible from the monitor. Six meters or more is absolutely safe since eye is absolutely relaxed at that distance (you may need a large monitor and font sizes). Gazing at very close distances demands often eye relaxation by looking at those distances, 6 meters (19.7 ft) away or further. Failure to do so not only over strains the ciliary muscle that contracts the lens during the work but also can make you shortsighted temporarily or permanently because breaks down the muscle’s ability to recover and thus flatten the lens. Think of the eye muscle as a spring that should not be over expanded for long periods to be able to contract backwards when released.

Position your keyboard properly. Place your keyboard directly in front of you. If you place the keyboard too high, too low or at an angle, it may cause discomfort and fatigue in your eyes, wrists and hands.

Blink more. Some eye strain occurs because you naturally blink less often when focusing on something, like your computer screen. Take breaks and sit with your eyes closed for a few seconds to rehydrate your eyes.

The monitor should be a little lower than eye level, with the top of the monitor lined up with your eyes if you were to look straight ahead. This angle will keep your neck in a more natural position, which means your eyes will be less strained to stay in their own position of looking slightly down. Slightly closed eyes also won’t drying out that quickly.

Buy a high resolution monitor. Older monitors tend to flicker more and have a slower refresh rate, causing your eyes to constantly readjust to the image on the screen.

Purchase an anti-glare screen for your monitor. This is easier to do for traditional desktop computer monitors than for laptops. This will cut the glare if you’re not able to eliminate harsh lighting or adjust your monitor. The screen will also increase your privacy while working.

Keep your monitor clean. Wipe the dust from your computer screen regularly. Dust on the screen lowers contrast and may contribute to glare and reflection problems.

Create an environment that has lighting similar to that of your monitor. The ideal work space will have soft lights, limited natural light, no fluorescent lighting and surfaces that don’t reflect too much light. Switching your bulbs and using blinds in your office may cut down on your eye strain.

Purchase a stand for books and papers if you are having to type from one of these sources or use them for reference while on your computer. Put the stand directly next to the screen so your eyes aren’t shifting as much. If you can touch type, typing without looking at your keyboard, try to keep your eyes on the book and cut down on how often you’re checking your computer screen for typing errors.

Use software to automatically change color settings when you work at nights. Computer screens are made to look good at sunlight when there is more light than night. This causes them to look too bright at night even with the lowest brightness settings. However by changing some color settings you can change this and make your computer screen fit for indoor lights at night. To do this you can use software like f.lux so that the color settings adjust automatically during different times of the day.

Use eyeglasses with the proper prescription. If you need bifocals, you may tilt your head at an awkward angle when using the computer so talk to your optometrist to see if progressive lenses may work better. In addition, purchasing lenses with an anti-reflective coating will help cut down on computer glare; you can get plain lenses with this coating even if you don’t need vision correction.


  • If after trying these methods you still suffer from discomfort of your eyes, contact your optometrist for an eye examination.
  • See a doctor if your attempts to avoid eye strain are not successful. An eye exam will determine if you need corrective lenses. Eye muscles strain easily if your eyes need correction.


  • Closing your eyes and relaxing usually relieves eye strain.
  • Stay away from eye cosmetics during eye strain.
  • Although it may be tempting to curl up with a good book, it is best to sit up when reading and hold the book parallel to your face. Reading when lying down, especially on your side, leads to eye strain if one eye is closer to the book.
  • Try to wear sunglasses.
  • Try playing some type of outdoor sport that involves lots of far objects, like tennis.
  • Gently rub your eyes for 5 seconds- and then close them.
  • Play water ball, which is helpful to rolling your eyeballs, this exercise very good for eyeballs.
  • At nighttime, consider wearing night shades or melatonin shades. Protect your eyes from your screen’s blue light, which causes most strain and restricts melatonin flow at night.