8 Ways to Reduce Eye Strain

Whether you work in front of a computer or spend a lot of time on your cell phone, eye strain is common nuisance in our screen-dominated world. How do you get rid of eye strain? Here are 8 simple things you can do to ease eye fatigue and give your eyes a break. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read
The Quick And Dirty

The simpliest ways to reduce eye strain are to:

  1. Make time to take breaks from your screens
  2. Position your screens so you're looking slightly down at them
  3. Relax your eye muscles with body heat
  4. Wear black to combat computer glare
  5. Turn down your computer's brightness
  6. Eat parsley 
  7. Use a book light for late night reading
  8. Place cucumber slices over your eyes to relax the muscles

1. Look away from the screen

It sounds simple—and it is: You need to look away from your computer monitor, or frankly, from any other screen to give your eyes a break. This could mean staring at an object in the distance for a minute while you think, getting up to stretch your legs and get a glass of water, or simply blinking consciously and regularly. Another idea is to close your eyes while you’re on the phone. (Just don’t fall asleep during a boring conference call!) The more ways you can find to give your eyes a rest throughout the day, the better you’ll feel!

See Also: When to Worry About Eye Twitching

2. Get in position

The top of your computer screen should be at eye level and the monitor should be placed about two feet away from you. That way, your gaze will be slightly downward, making it less likely to cause eyestrain.

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3. Relax with warmth

For instant relief of eyestrain, quickly rub your hands together for a few seconds to warm them, then place the palms over your closed eyelids. Take a few deep breaths and relax all of the muscles of your face. The warmth will create soothing relief for your strained eye muscles. Repeat as needed throughout the day.

4. Back in black

Now you have even more justification for wearing black, other than that it’s chic. Believe it or not, your shirt color can have an effect on computer glare—and therefore on your eyes. White and light-colored shirts tend to produce reflection, while dark-colored shirts don’t. When it comes to eyestrain, black is still the new black.

5. Gimme some contrast

To give your eyes a break, turn down the brightness on your computer monitor. By increasing the contrast, you can make up for the dimness, and you’ll notice a big difference in how your eyes feel.

6. Parsley

Parsley contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidant nutrients important for eye health that may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Plus, parsley is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A—and it tastes great. Instead of using it as a mere garnish, you can boost your intake by juicing it with other fruits and vegetables, or adding a generous amount to a salad.

See Also: Nutrition for Healthy Eyes

7. Myth buster

Your mother may have told you that reading in low light would hurt your eyes, but you can chalk this one up as another old wives’ tale. You might experience temporary strain if you’re not getting good contrast or if there’s a glare on the page, but you can’t cause damage this way. So flip on the book light and enjoy that thriller until the wee hours.

8. Cucumber

Here’s an oldie but goodie: Stick cool cucumber slices over your eyelids to help relax the muscles. After just a few minutes, you’ll experience relief!

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.