As technology advances at a rapid rate, font size shrinks as hours on a computer grow, all of which can cause problems for eyes.
"People hate looking at computer screens," said Dr. Robert Nible, of Family Eye Care, 801 Shiffer Ave. "Pixels create depth."
Eyes are more developed for looking at two-dimensional objects, such as paper, than three-dimensional objects on computer screens.
Nicole Hernandez, optometric assistant, demonstrates how to best look at a computer screen, which is with the monitor an arm’s length away.
"It's a tremendous amount of work," Nible said.
In fact, eyes work best when looking beyond 3 feet and all around the landscape. They were developed that way to keep people safe from danger.
But, now, many people look just beyond their fingertips at a computer screen all day at work.
Offices have evolved from secretaries sitting at a typewriter, which worked better for eyes because the font size was larger, they worked slower and they typed on two-dimensional paper.
In financial fields, employees use two screens.
"One screen is not enough," Nible said. "It's a sign of status. They bounce back and forth."
Font sizes have changed, shrinking, so that more text can be printed on the same amount of space. Even with the insurance forms Nible sees at work, he has noticed a difference over the years.
In his time in the field, Nible has heard a growing number of complaints about people who develop headaches from using computers all day. People come in because their eyes hurt from the strain and they have headaches, which make them think something is seriously wrong.
While about 90 percent of the cases of headaches from computers can relate to something else, sometimes it
indicates an issue that can be corrected in the office, such as an uncorrected astigmatism.
In the case of astigmatism, the eye refocuses constantly, which continually strains it. Just a pair of glasses correcting a small amount could lead to a huge difference in work, such as in tiredness.
Healthy adults should have an eye exam every two years so problems such as astigmatisms can be caught and treated.
For those looking to improve eye strain at work, Nible offered several tips:
If possible, make the font size bigger on the computer screen.
Move the computer an arm's length away.
For every 15 minutes of work, stare into the distance for 15 seconds to let the eyes rest.
"Near is work," Nible said. "Far is rest."
Letting the eyes rest doesn't mean taking the 15 seconds to peruse a social media website but instead to really look far in the distance, somewhere away from the computer screen.
There also are harder suggestions to achieve, such as improve the lighting and reduce the glare on computer screens with anti-reflective glass, which makes the image dramatically more distinct and causes the eye less strain, Nible said.