Eye strain is a very real problem for anyone who works with computers on a daily basis. I wrote an answer to this question on Quora: “How can I protect my eyes as a software engineer?”.

As someone who writes software for a living, enjoys reading, playing video games and watching tv series, eye strain is something that I have to actively manage to avoid sore eyes, dizziness, headaches and feeling tired.

For me, the exercises that are described in some of the other answers aren’t sufficient. These are some of the things that I do that aide me in all but overcoming the issue.

Consider glasses

Have your eyes tested. I’m very mildly myopic myself and have astigmatism in my left eye. Being myopic isn’t that bad; I can see perfectly fine without my glasses on, but astigmatism can make working with text on computer screens absolute hell.

Consider the picture below. My left eye sees everything like the bottom left quadrant. Glasses and contact lenses can easily overcome this.

A table showing the different variants of astigmatism

Find alternatives to screen time

Your phone and tablet aren’t the best way to read articles or books. Get an e-reader instead. You’ll be surprised at how much more comfortable e-paper is to look at.

Find podcasts and audiobooks that you like. You can enjoy those even with your eyes closed.

I have a 1.5 hour commute and would spend much of that time glued to my phone. Getting a Kindle and subscribing to podcasts has reduced that time to near zero.

Sleep well

I try very hard not to grab my phone when I wake up or go to bed. The bright light feels especially hard on my eyes. I’ve also noticed that I feel more rested when I don’t spend an hour scrolling through 9GAG and Quora before going to sleep.

These are the things that help me avoid sore eyes. I’d love to hear any other tips. It’s getting harder to avoid looking at screens all day and I think we need all the help we can get to save ourselves from straining our eyes too much.