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Help For Eye Strain On Computer

Updated on February 1, 2013

Hours and hours sitting in front of a bright white screen can make us stir crazy not to mention seeing spots before our eyes. After a while I find myself making mistakes I wouldn’t normally make mostly because of eyestrain. So what do you do?

Here are a few tips I’ve used to help my poor ol’ peepers.

  • Background Color

First thing you can do that’s a big help when creating a document is go up to your toolbar to “Format”. Scroll down to “Background”; you have a whole page of color options to change that bright white color to something a bit easier to look at. Taupe seems to be much more soothing to me but you pick whatever you like just don’t pick red, black or neon colors. Those are just as bad as white.

Pick a nice mellow cream, powder blue or pale green if taupe is too bland. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.

  • Increase Font

Whether you are answering emails or writing you can increase the size of your work making it easier to see.

Go to the top of your Word document where you see a white box with numbers and a percent sign. In most versions you can click in that box and increase the font size to 150% or whatever makes it easier for you to see. I currently like 175% myself but play around with it and see what works best for you.

If you are in your email or reading blogs you can increase them by simply pressing the “Control” or “Command” key and the plus sign key at the top of your keyboard. It will make the whole screen larger font and all. You can click on those keys again if you want it even bigger. To decrease it you just touch the “Control/Command” and the minus/hyphen buttons.

  • Take a Break

This isn’t always easy especially if you are on the clock or the muse is flowing and you need to get words down before they fly away but experts say that after 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Do other work, try to stand up and move around at least once every hour or so. Stretch your arms, shoulders and back. If possible, lean back and close your eyes for a few moments.

  • Chrysanthemum Tea

The Chinese have used this infusion of flower heads for thousands of years to relieve soar eyes from too much work.

You can drink this in tea form or put the damp teabags on your eyes for a few minutes to ease stress.

  • Sliced Cucumber

Put a slice on each eye and lay with them closed for a few minutes.

  • Lighting

Having enough light is important but too bright of lights can cause eye stress. Try turning off a few and see if it doesn’t help. Florescent lighting can be harder on our eyes than incandescent even though they save on electricity.

  • Cold Water

Splashing your face and eyes with cool water can ease tension and calm the weariness. Of course if you are wearing make-up this may not be an option.

  • Warm Towel

If you aren’t wearing make up another idea is a warm wet towel laid across the eyes.

  • Eye Drops

Dry tired eyes can get relief from eye drops. Put them in as directed and lean back for a few minutes with them closed.

  • Eyebright Tea

Not only is this tea good at easing your eyes but also helps relieve cold and allergy symptoms. It is thought to improve eyesight as well.

In Tibet they do an eye exercise that is supposed to correct visual weakness and improve your eyesight.

Here's the link:


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      That is a handy trick, thanks, Fred. I haven't tried enlarging everything I just do that when I need to but good to know that tip.

      Powder blue is a good color choice.

    • profile image

      Fred Lehman 

      7 years ago

      I started changing the color background on my very first computer. I like the powder blue background with a magenta print. I think it's magenta, it's kind of a pinkish purple.

      If you on a Mac computer you can go into the preferences and change the screen resolution, which enlarges everything and you don't have to use the command + shortcut ever page you go to. It also increases the menu items at the top as well.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      sergs_pogi, that is in Word. You can't change the background colors on webpages. I wish we could.

      Thanks for reading.

    • sergs_pogi profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello. I tried to follow your suggestion, but I couldn't find "Format," "Background." Is this for Firefox or Word? Thanks.

    • sergs_pogi profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow. Nice hub! This is the first time I've heard about this information. Very useful indeed. Voted up too!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ddraigcoch, I know what you mean. I spend so much time in front of my computer after a while my eyes hurt.

    • Ddraigcoch profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      I am thinking of getting one of those anti glare screens. I am getting too many headaches lately.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Cogerson.

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent advice that all of us hubbers can use....voted useful and up....I will have to check out eyebright tea...thanks for posting

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Anginwu, I just started drinking the tea so haven't had long enough to see the benefits.

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      Great tips. I'm glad you've included Chrysanthemum tea because I love it. Staring at the computer for hours can cause Computer Eye Syndrome, so these tips are really great. Awesome.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      BkCreative, I get so engrossed in what I'm doing sometimes I forget to take a break.

      Becky, thanks for reading.

      Good to know, kashmir56.

      A.A. I have never tried the cucumbers but read it is supposed to help. Anything cool and wet works so it makes sense.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Cuccumbers on eyes, it really works? Thanks again for sharing.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great information and advice.....this hub was easy on the eyes !

    • Becky Puetz profile image


      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent advice, tips and ideas here. Thanks for an awesome Hub.

    • BkCreative profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Really, thank you for this reminder. Not only have my eyes been bothering me since yesterday - because I did a lot of writing - but now my right thigh feels numb from sitting here so long. I'm going out for a walk soon.

      And I am going to put a warm compress on my eyes - and I keep forgetting about the chrysanthemum tea - I actually have some beautiful loose tea. I'm going to make some, proofread a hub and take a long break.

      Thanks a million and rated up! Yay!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      mckbirdbks, it helps me a lot especially after being on the computer for many hours.

      Will, sorry to hear you had cataracts but glad you got them taken care of. Changing the background color might help. Too bad we can't change the color of articles we read.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I can really use this Hub! I just got two new eyes (cataract surgery) and everything is so vivid I need to tone it down.

      Great Hub.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Just marked this useful. Large font great idea. I'll have to try the background color change. Thanks again.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Changing the background color helps quite a bit.

      Twilight, that poor fellow looks like I feel some evenings after hours of writing.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Marked useful I do the "enlarge text" thing, especially when reading e-mails and longish bit of text. I hadn't thought of changing the screen colour, though.

      But tell me, Pamela, where did you get that photo of me right at the beginning? Ah! That was when I really looked handsome and dashing.


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