If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer staring at the monitor, it can really do a number on your eyes. By the end of the day, eyestrain can leave your eyes feeling sore, irritated, and overworked. The best way to avoid problems like these is by following these tips on proper eye care for computer users.

1. Set up the lighting in the space to minimize glare and reduce eyestrain.

The lighting in the room plays a key role in determining the amount of strain your eyes experience when looking at the screen. Ideally, you should use your computer in a well-lit space. If you are looking at a bright screen in a dark room, it creates a lot of excess strain on your eyes. By adding light to the room, the difference between the brightness of the screen and the brightness of the room is less intense, which is a lot easier on your eyes.

Glare can also make it difficult to see your screen, forcing your eyes to work harder to understand what they are looking at. Using an antiglare screen may help. You can also try repositioning your monitor to reduce glare from lights or windows in the room.

2. Adjust the settings on your monitor.

Turn the brightness on your monitor up or down so that the amount of light coming out of the screen is approximately the same as the amount of light in the room. Creating less contrast between your screen and the background can reduce strain on your eyes.

If necessary, increase the font size or zoom in on documents to make them easier to read. Trying to read tiny text on your monitor forces your eyes to work harder, which can make them tire out more quickly.

3. Take breaks at regular intervals throughout the day.

Most experts recommend looking away from the screen at least every 20 minutes. That doesn’t mean that you need to take a long break every 20 minutes. Instead, just stop and look off into the distance for about half a minute. This gives your eyes a lot of quick little breaks which can keep them feeling more refreshed over the course of the day.

4. Reevaluate your eyewear.

If you wear glasses or contacts, you may be particularly at risk of developing eyestrain. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can minimize the problem. Start by talking to your eye doctor about getting a special prescription for your computer. They can adjust your prescription so it works better with the short focal length between your eyes and your computer screen.

Everyone can benefit from wearing special computer glasses that are designed to block out blue light. Even if you don’t require prescription lenses, you may want to look into getting a pair of these glasses to reduce eye strain.

Following these tips on proper eye care for computer users can go a long way toward keeping your eyes healthy and happy. These changes are easy to implement and can start improving the condition of your eyes right away.