Personal Computers And Eye Strain. Instructions for Good Use

A lot has been written and said about PCs and the damage they presumably cause to our eyes. For this reason, we have to take a clear stand towards this problem and to determine the problems that could occur from prolonged time spent in front of our screen.

What PCs do NOT cause

Due to the fact that PCs have spread their use not only in the office but in our homes as well, it has been said that they are harmful for our eyes. Many people visit their ophthalmologist, complaining about annoyance and fatigue of their eyes after prolonged and continuous use of their PC. However, it must be clear that numerous researches conducted in this context in all advanced countries, have shown that video terminals do not cause a long term damage to our eyes. It has been proven that video terminals emit very little or none at all hazardous radiation like X-rays or ultraviolet radiation. Thus, in simple words, our eyes are not in long-term danger from our PCs screen.

What PCs DO cause

A lot of people complain about annoyance in their eyes after many hours in front of their monitors. The eyes can be a little irritated (slightly red), there could be the sensation of a foreign body and weight in the eyeball. Tearing is another common symptom that cause blur vision. All these are frequent symptoms and totally real. Let’s see what happens. The continuous attention and focus on the screen makes us reflexly blink our eyes less and less. This cause a higher evaporation to the lachrymal film (tears), which covers our eyes. As a result we have a dry eye condition. This worsens if the microclimate of the workplace is not appropriate (dry environment, air conditioning or excessive heat, bad lighting). In many occasions headaches and dizziness occurs. This is caused by our position in front of the PC. A solid and rigid position, especially if the PC is located higher than the level of our head, causes stress on our neck resulting in myotensive headaches and dizziness. Moreover, our eyes are in a continuous “close-distance” focus change (keyboard, screen, documents) and this fact strains our eyes muscles causing blur vision headaches, mild pain in the eyeball, dizziness.

Instructions for healthy and good use of the videoterminal

  • Researchers recommend that we do not surpass 4 hours of constant work in front of the screen, taking 10-15 minutes breaks
  • Keep a distance of around 40 cm from the screen
  • The screen must be slightly lower than the level of our eyes.
  • Keep both the screen’s and the environment’s lighting correct so that you avoid annoying light reflections.
  • TFT and LCD monitors have less flickering that cause fatigue to the eyes. Flat screens also produce less reflections
  • If you have a headache, a light neck massage will help in relaxing the neck muscles.
  • Use only the eyeglasses that your eye doctor has suggested if there is any correction. Ask your doctor for the right prescription and the right use.
  • If you feel like having “sand” in your eyes, splash some cold water on them or use artificial tears. They are effective, harmless and you can use them as many times as you want.
  • If the symptoms persist, visit your ophthalmologist, who is the only one that can advise a special treatment if needed.


It has to be clear that PCs are not harmful to our eyes. However, they are responsible for some symptoms that do not cause permanent damage to our eyes but only fatigue, which can be limited if we follow the experts’ advice.