Companies are now requiring people to leave their work-from-home environments and return to their offices.  Many people have found that they had a healthy setup with good lighting, the ability to get some fresh air, and a choice of workspace. In the office, we can’t control the light, our environment, the chemical used for cleaning, or how often we can get out for fresh air. Many factors can cause eye strain; we are going to cover some key points to help keep your eyes safe and feeling good.


Often making changes to daily habits or the environment can go a long way in helping in the treatment of eyestrain. You should always get your eyes checked to keep ahead of developing problems that may be due to an underlying eye condition.

The eye professional will check you to see if you need glasses for specific activities, such as computer use, reading, and fine details.  Your eye specialist may suggest that you take regular eye breaks to help your eyes focus at different distances.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Consider these tips to reduce or prevent eye strain.

  • Take breaks. When reading or doing close work, take occasional breaks and rest your eyes by looking away from the page, digital screen, or task. The rule is every 20 minutes for work look somewhere in the distance for 20 seconds. 
  • Limit screen time. If you work on a computer all day, this is especially important. People may not realize the connection between extended viewing, eye strain, and the need to rest their eyes regularly when they go home and continue using a screen.
  • Use artificial tears. To prevent and relieve dry eyes, it's beneficial to use nonprescription artificial tears. Even if your eyes feel fine, it's recommended to use them regularly to keep your eyes well-lubricated and avoid the reappearance of symptoms. During the winter heating season, it is essential to keep your eyes moisturized. It is recommended to consult your eye specialist for advice on the most suitable eye drops for you. Please note that using eye drops with a redness remover could exacerbate dry eye symptoms and should be avoided. You can use preservative-free eye drops as frequently as required without any issues. However, it's recommended to limit the use of eye drops containing preservatives to four times a day to avoid developing sensitivity to the preservatives. If this occurs, switching to preservative-free eye drops can be helpful. However, don't use them more than four times a day.  Use a name-brand product and look at the expiration date on the bottle, if the product is past the date, toss it and buy a new one. Do not use EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears as they have been linked with a bad outbreak of a bacterial infection that can cause blindness and even death.
  • Improve the air quality of your space. You can prevent dry eyes by using a humidifier, adjusting the thermostat to reduce blowing air, and avoiding smoking. Look into a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter to reduce irritants in your workspace. Go outside as much as you can.
  • Choose the right eyewear for you. Consider investing in computer-specific glasses or contacts if you need glasses or contacts for computer work. Ask your optometrist about lens coatings and tints that might help too. Blue-blockers may help.
  • Adjust the lighting. To avoid eye strain when using a computer or watching  TV, it is best to keep the room softly lit. If you are reading printed materials or doing close work, position the light source behind you and direct it towards your page or task. If you're reading at a desk, use a shaded light positioned in front of you. The shade will keep light from shining directly into your eyes.

Tips for Computer Work

Computer use is a common cause of eyestrain. If you work at a desk and use a computer, these self-care steps can help take some of the strain off your eyes.

  • Blink often to refresh your eyes. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.
  • Take eye breaks. Throughout the day, give your eyes a break by looking away from your monitor. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Check the lighting and reduce glare. Bright lighting and too much glare can strain your eyes and make it difficult to see objects on your monitor. The worst problems are generally from sources above or behind you, including fluorescent lighting and sunlight. Consider turning off some or all of the overhead lights.
  • If you need light for writing or reading, use an adjustable desk lamp. Close blinds or shades, and avoid placing your monitor directly in front of a window or white wall. Place an anti-glare cover over the screen.
  • Adjust your monitor. Position your monitor directly in front of you about an arm's length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. It also helps to have a chair you can adjust.
  • Use a document holder. If you need to refer to print material while you work on your computer, place it on a document holder. Some holders are designed to be placed between the keyboard and the monitor; others are placed to the side. Find one that works for you. The goal is to reduce how much your eyes need to readjust and how often you turn your neck and head.
  • Adjust your screen settings. Enlarge the type for easier reading. And adjust the contrast and brightness to a level that's comfortable for you.

Alternative Supplements 

If you experience eyestrain, there are natural products that may provide relief. For example, fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which can be beneficial, although additional research is required. In order to combat eye strain, it's recommended to maintain a healthy diet that includes lean meat, fish, fruits, and dark leafy vegetables. This will provide your eyes with the necessary nutrients to prevent and alleviate eye strain.

Be Aware and Ask Yourself:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these symptoms? Think about how you noticed them.
  • Have your symptoms changed over time?
  • How severe is your discomfort?
  • Do you use a computer? If so, how is it set up?
  • Do you work in an air-conditioned environment, or does a fan or vent blow air around your face?
  • How much time do you spend on digital devices each day?
  • Does anything, in particular, seem to trigger your symptoms?
  • Does anything help relieve your symptoms?
  • When was your last vision exam?
  • Keep a daily log of the time you spend on activities that strain your eyes, such as looking at digital devices, reading, and being exposed to glare.
  • Do you work in an air-conditioned environment, or does a fan or vent blow air around your face?
  • Does anything, in particular, seem to trigger your symptoms?

Being aware is key to understanding what is affecting your eye and how you can make lifestyle changes to reduce or eliminate the eye strain.  Book your appointment with Island Retina and bring a list of issues and concerns. We are here to help you see better for the long haul 

This Blog is based on an article published by the Mayo Clinic to learn more go to: