Reduce Computer Eyestrain – 4 Working Tips

No doubt that working long hours in front of the computer screen will cause eyestrain and dizziness. You know you are having eyestrain if your eyes feel irritated and have blurred vision looking at distanced object after a long session of computer use.

Red eye
Photo by Tony Logan

If working shorter hours is not an option for you, then consider the following tips that will somehow help in reducing eyestrain.

Turn on Windows XP ClearType

If you are running on Windows XP, this tool developed by Microsoft will definitely be very useful. In fact, this is one of the best thing ever installed on my computer. I feel weird when using other people’s computer as the font displayed on their screen looks distorted as compared to mine with ClearType on.

Without ClearType:

Without ClearType

With ClearType On:

With ClearType On

There are two ways to turn ClearType on, either do it online or download the ClearType Tuner PowerToy to configure it locally on your computer.

If you are turning ClearType on online, make sure you are using Internet Explorer as most other browsers are not supported. When configuring, ClearType will display a few samples of text, and you can select the one that suits you the best.

Increase Monitor Refresh Rate

This trick works only on CRT monitors

Refresh rate refers to the number of times your monitor refresh in a second. Flickering screen is one of the cause of eyestrain. Increasing your monitor refresh rate will decrease the flickering on your screen. Follow the following steps to configure your monitor refresh rate:

  1. Right click on your desktop > Properties
  2. On the Settings tab, click on Advanced
  3. Click on the Monitor tab
  4. Configure your refresh rate using the drop down menu. It is recommended to set your refresh rate to 75 Hertz or higher.

Screen refresh rate

Important: Make sure you have the “Hide modes that this monitor cannot display” box checked to make sure the refresh rate you select is supported by your monitor. Selecting refresh rate that is way too high will damage your monitor.

Take Frequent Breaks

Taking breaks frequently away from your screen is one of the best solution for reducing eyestrain. Frequent short breaks are better than longer but less frequent breaks. It is recommended to take a few minutes break 30 minutes or an hour.

If it is not convenient to walk away from your workstation, just simply closing your eyes and lean back will also help.

Exercise Your Eyes

Your eyes, just like your body, have to do some exercise in order to stay in good shape. If your job requires you to face the computer screen for the whole day every single day, you will feel the goodness of exercising your eyes. Your eyes won’t feel as tired as usual at the end of the day. Below are a few links to extensive eyes exercising guides:



  1. goldfries - January 26, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

    Nice post but if you were referring to some source for this article then clearly it’s outdated.

    Why do I say so? It’s the part about "increasing monitor refresh rates".

    It was as if that portion is assuming the entire world is only on CRT when most new computers these days are using LCD monitors already.

    You should make it clear that that only applies to CRT monitors. 🙂 LCD monitors on the other hand are fixed at 60hz.

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