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Many people worry that viewing a screen can damage their eyes. There is no evidence of this. In fact, because you can alter the size, brightness and contrast of the display, it can easier and more comfortable to see on a screen compared with looking at things on paper. However, some people find that looking at a screen for a long time is tiring, and may find wearing glasses for computer use helpful. Your optometrist will be able to advise you about this.

Here are some ways to look after your eyes while using your screen:

  • Apply the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will give your eye muscles a rest.
  • Try to blink regularly. Focusing on a screen may make you blink less, which may make your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
  • Position your computer screen so that:
    • it is between 40 and 76 centimetres (16 to 30 inches) from your eyes
    • the top is level with, or slightly below, your eyes
    • it is tilted away from you at a 10- to 20-degree angle
    • there are no distracting reflections, e.g. from a window.
  • Once you have adjusted your screen, adjust the font size so it’s easy to read.
  • Use document holders for reading or reference materials. Place them close to the screen at the same distance from your eyes. This will enable your eyes to remain focused as they move between the screen and the documents.
  • Use a character size that is easy to see. The character size is an important factor since it determines the distance at which you prefer to view the monitor.