How to Fight Eye Fatigue And Headaches At Work

How to Fight Eye Fatigue And Headaches At Work
  • Opening Intro -

    Another day at the office.

    Another tiring afternoon with a pounding headache.


Visual fatigue can be so uncomfortable that it affects your concentration and productivity. Here are some tips to ease eye strain and headaches.

Visual Ergonomics

Getting a new computer is likely out of the question. Try these simple adjustments to reduce fatigue at work.

  • Adjust your computer setup to minimize reflections from overhead lighting or nearby windows.
  • Position your monitor so it’s close enough to read off the screen comfortably without having to lean forward.
  • Experiment with moving your monitor so the top of the screen is equal to or a little bit lower than your eye level.

Exercise Your Eyes

Focusing fatigue occurs when your eyes are continuously staring at a screen. Your eye muscles are just like other muscles in your body. Set in the same position for too long leads to muscles locking up causing discomfort and strain. When eye muscles lock up, it’s called an accommodative spasm.

To prevent this condition, employ what optometrists refer to as the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of computer work, look away and into the distance for 20 seconds. Look towards the far end of the room or at the view out the window. A variation would be to look at a far object for 10 to 15 seconds. Then look at something closer to you for 10 to 15 seconds. Return your gaze to the farther object. Repeat this pattern ten times.

Office lighting puts more strain on your eyes. If you can, take a walk outside during your break. Natural light is relaxing and can relieve symptoms of visual fatigue.


Prolonged reading on a computer screen means you will blink less. This results in dry, red eyes. Eye drops will relieve the redness but is only a temporary cure for dry eyes. Instead of relying on drops, be more aware of blinking. Every 15-20 minutes, close your eyes slowly then open slowly. Repeat this at least 10 times. Dehydration at work can cause headaches. Drinking enough water at work will keep your eyes and body hydrated.

Comprehensive Eye Exam

An annual eye exam is the best option to treat workplace eye strain according to the American Optometric Association. Uncorrected or under-corrected vision issues do affect the physical wellbeing and productivity of computer workers.

Computer vision syndrome is a collection of temporary vision-related symptoms caused by computer use. A qualified optometrist can answer your questions about this condition. The doctor can inform you what to do to relieve this condition and prevent its reoccurrence. This may include a change in your eyeglass prescription or the use of glasses designed especially for computer use.

Technology has many benefits but it has drawbacks, too. Extended viewing of computer monitors or smartphone screens takes a toll on your eyes. If it’s been more than a year since your last eye exam, schedule a visit with a vision center like All About Eyes close to you.

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