Computer Screens and Your Eyes

As more people use computers in the workplace, complaints of eye fatigue, difficulty focusing and dry eye are becoming common. Lighting, furniture and desk configurations that worked fine for typewriters, could add to eye fatigue and discomfort when working with computers.

Although you may experience painful eyestrain and dry eye while using a computer, computer screens do not permanently damage vision.

To help eyestrain and dry eye, you may only need to adjust your computer monitor to reduce glare and reflection. An ergonomic evaluation of your workstation also may identify problems that could lead to eyestrain and fatigue.

Other possible causes of dry eye in the workplace are from heating and air conditioning systems in the office building. Dry eye occurs when the eye doesn’t produce enough tears to keep the eye comfortable. Usual symptoms include stinging or burning eyes, scratchiness, a feeling that there is something in the eye, excessive tearing, or difficulty wearing contact lenses. Over-the-counter eye drops called artificial tears can sometimes help alleviate dry eye. Blinking frequently while using the computer can also help dry eye symptoms.

However, to find the cause of your eye fatigue or dry eye, you may need to see your Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist) for a complete eye exam. You may need glasses, contacts or a new prescription.

Please see your Eye M.D. if your eye discomfort persists.