Preventing Eye Strain Headaches At The Office
The nature of some jobs is enough to cause a headache on its own; however, anyone who works in front of a computer all day is at a heightened risk of a special type of headaches caused by eye strain. Here is some information about why computer usage can cause headaches and how to prevent eye strain at work.
Physical Composition of the Eyes
The human eye is a complex sensitive organ that adjusts the amount of light it lets in, focuses on objects, and produces images to transmit to the brain.
Eyes cannot function properly when they are exposed to very bright or very dim light, after focusing for an extreme amount of time, or after prolonged exposure to moving air.
Eye strain is also known as asthenopia and commonly caused by extended computer use, straining to see objects in dim light, and exposure to high glare. Localized pain in the eyes and headaches are caused when the eyes are overused or due to prolonged exposure to bright light.
Wearing the Right Prescription
Annual eye exams are especially important for individuals who have desk jobs that require heavy computer screen usage. Exams let patients know if they are nearsighted or farsighted and the degree of correction required to achieve 20/20 vision.
Individuals who are farsighted should wear reading glasses while looking at a computer screen instead of squinting. However, nearsighted individuals who have no trouble seeing objects up-close should avoid wearing their nearsighted prescription when looking at computer screens right in front of them. Having the right prescription for the right circumstance makes a night-and-day difference for headache relief and overall eye health.
Tips for Healthy Eyes at Work
In addition to wearing the right prescription, there are many things that desk job workers can do to maintain the health of their eyes and prevent eye strain headaches. These are some tips to keep in mind on days when multiple hours are spent in front of a computer screen.
- After every 20 minutes of working at a computer, look into the distance 20 feet away for 20 seconds to prevent eye strain
- Get up from the desk and move around periodically throughout the day
- Utilize good lighting at the desk
- Use a flat-panel LCD screen display
- Adjust the computer’s brightness settings and text size
- Minimize computer screen glare by using blinds over windows
- Get a dilated eye exam to check for issues
- Inquire about family eye history
Symptoms of Eye Strain Headaches
Not only can eye strain cause headaches, but it can also cause fatigue in the eyes, neck and back pain, a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, and difficulty focusing. This is because prolonged and concentrated use of the eyes leads individuals to unconsciously clench the muscles of the head and face in an effort to strain to see better. The symptoms of eye strain headaches can be triggered by environmental factors like cigarette smoke, food additives, lack of sleep, and stress. Glaring and flickering lights make the symptoms even worse.
Many people experience these symptoms at work and don’t understand why. Since so much of modern life revolves around screen time, eye strain headaches are becoming increasingly common. Over-the-counter headache medicines like Vanquish can help with these tension headaches.
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