Is your computer damaging your eyes?

Do computer screens do any real and lasting damanage to our eyes? There is a lot of debate on this issue, which I am going to explore in this article.

A healthy looking eye

There is no escaping them, screens are everywhere. At home, many of us choose to use computers, games consoles, and televisions – although they all seem to be merging into one.

At work we often are forced to spend hours each day staring at screens in order to get our job done. Word and Excel vs the dreaded filing cabinates, it’s an easy decision for many of us! In schools, many children now use computers more than they use pens and paper. Even when we are on the go, many of us carry phone with us, to keep us up to date and in sync, whilst we are out and about.


One must therefore consider: are there any potentially dangerous side effects of using all these devices? We all get headaches from time to time, and computers are probably the cause of some of them. Often, when working at a screen for prolonged periods of time, many of us also get eye strain.

The short term effects of using a PC are unquestionable, but are there any dangerously irreversible long term effects on our eyes? Well according to my research, no, there aren’t. However, there is the possibility for long term effects for other parts of our body.

UPDATE: This article was written in 2011, and whilst there is still no conclusive evidence that suggests prolonged exposure to screens can cause irreversable damage to the eyes, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that looking at screens too closely and for too often may well cause eye problems in later life.

The eye of someone staring at a computer screen


Our back and neck are especially vulnerable, due to the large amount of time we spend sitting down in one position. Even with good posture, sitting in the same position for hours on end is not good for your body, that’s why we have muscles, bones and joints!

Repetitive strain injury is also a big issue. Many office workers will at some point experience this, in either their wrists or hands, due to the nature of typing and using a mouse.

In fact, repetitive strain injury is such a big issue, it is estimated that its annual cost to UK industry is between 5 and 20 billion pounds! In the US, the figures are also similar.

Despite its potentially harmful effects on the body, computers cause no proven long term damage to your eyes. Symptoms like sore eyes, blurred vision and a change in colour perception are usually only short term, and clear within hours of leaving the screen.

To help yourself avoid the short term computer-related symptoms of eye strain, my best advice is take regular breaks. Get a drink, go to the loo or just have a wander around every 30-40 minutes and you should be able to avoid such symptoms altogether.

Why not have a break now? Go on, get up from your desk and go and have a wander. πŸ™‚ If you are using a tablet or are on your mobile, take five minutes off and then read another article. πŸ˜‰

Why not? Your eyes will love you. πŸ™‚

42 thoughts on “Is your computer damaging your eyes?

  1. I too get some bad symptoms of using LED all the time, sometimes I get headaches but it’s ok or you can say I’m more used to now. Taking regular break is good idea and now going for short break…… πŸ˜‰ thanks for advice.

  2. I’ve counsulted with my physician about this issue and he suggest me to keep washing my eyes once at least in 3-4 hours that will relax my eyes.. but yes keep moving your body or you may have some joints problem in body.

  3. In the digital world we live in today, there is surely no escaping screens. But its very important to take regular intervals from sitting in one position, move around a bit, do a bit of neck rotation exercises , etc. Neglecting health at young age can pose to be quite an issue in the later years. Having said that, I think i’ll go get myself a coffee..!

  4. I have no any scientific study or resources to prove this, but for some reason I believe that it is possible for computers to cause long term effects particularly on the vision of an individual. When I was in high school 2 years ago, I have a good vision. I can see clearly the writings on the blackboard even if I am at the far side of the classroom. But after I became addicted to computer games which I spent more than 8 hours a day playing, the quality of my vision gradually reduces, meaning, getting blurry as time passes by. Now I’m experiencing a difficulty in seeing the writings in the board.

  5. Consistently I am off my desk and also out of my office to take a look at some trees or green stuff. Old people here said that looking at green stuff is good for eye. I am not too sure scientifically though. But I don’t strain my eyes too much in front of PC or what. I usually walk around to see something else other than my screen.

  6. I use my laptop continuously for nearly 8 hours a day and I am also having an eye problem. People suggest some time break while working but several times we don’t care about this.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Take more breaks John, that’s my advice too :-/

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to the Technology Bloggers community πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  7. I always face my PC more than 12 hours a day. Sometimes, it’s a non-stop routine for me. I can only get off my sit when I need to grab some food and to go to the comfort room. Other than that, I don’t have any breaks at all. And because of that habit, I can feel the damage in my eyes plus the serious pain because of my migraine. Now my vision is 100 for both eyes. I hope it isn’t late for me to repair any damage in my eyes.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      12 hours a day! Ahhh! Maria, do yourself a favour and take more breaks, as if you really damage your eyes, you won’t be able to look at your PC at all in future :-/

      • LOL I really hope this won’t happen to me. Actually, I kept on telling my mom that I can’t really afford to lose my eyes because this is one of my important investment for me to my career. Sounds funny, because I really know the importance of my eyes and yet I don’t even bother to take care of them. At least you’ve reminded me again.

  8. Hey Christopher,

    We were made to believe that television, computer screens, and the likes can damage our eyesight. Its good to know the real score. Though I think it is still best to minimize our eyes’ exposure to these screens just to be safe.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Agreed, as I mentioned in the article, take regular breaks and you should be fine πŸ™‚

      Thanks for adding your opinion and welcome to the community Nikki πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  9. I have recently been having eye strain issues because I am at my desk now more then in the past. I am starting to notice that I am having an issue looking at things close up, having a hard time focusing. So now I take a 10 minute break for every hour behind the monitors. Seems to be helping so far.

  10. What a timely reminder, Christopher. I’ve been sitting in front of a PC for 5 hours now and it’s time for a break.
    It’s difficult to follow the advice of taking short breaks every hour or every two hours when we are so engrossed with what we are doing.
    I think it’s a good idea to use a timer to remind us. I don’t completely accept that there are no lasting damage to our eyes because of what I’ve heard about other people’s personal experiences so it’s still best to be careful.
    Thanks for reminding us that we also have to take care of other parts of our body.
    Have a nice day!

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I know what you mean Theresa πŸ˜›

      Thanks for the comment, welcome to the community πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  11. Taking regular breaks is the trick to avoid having an eye strain. It’s advised to take a 20-sec break for every 20 minutes of using the computer by focusing your eyes on something else. This allows your eyes to rest and recover. Adjusting your screen monitor’s brightness may be another good tip.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Some valuable tips Jarrod. Are you sure it is just 20-seconds every 20 mins, as that’s not what I heard?

  12. Thanks for the advice.. I think it is still best to minimize our eyes’ exposure to these screens just to be safe..I always forgot to take a break from my daily work in front of the computer..

    • Christopher (admin team)

      You really should try and remember, it could do your eyes the world of good!

      Thanks for your comment, welcome to the community πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  13. I’ve been staring at my computer for almost the whole day, surfing the net, playing world of warcraft, reading blogs, etc. I do this everyday lol. Eye strain is already my best friend, but I don’t like him! I will definitely do your advice, after leaving this comment. Alright, gotta get my drink. πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Cristopher, thanks for sharing great advice. I am starting to notice that my eyes is always itchy. Because i work 12 hours daily infront of the computer. And i think that it’s time for me to go to the doctor to have some check up and a vacation. Thanks for reminding us.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      A vaccination? …for your eyes?
      Try not to use a computer too much, and take more breaks, it can be really beneficial πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your comment, welcome to Technology Bloggers!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  15. Hey Christopher!
    You wrote it so simply and cleanly and cleared the doubts of many peop as well who thought computer screens can have long term adverse effects.
    And I read the same suggestion regarding taking breaks from computer for 5-10 minutes at another article as well and I would surely try to implement it from now as I have to work for hours on my laptop.

    Thanks again buddy!

    • Christopher (admin team)

      You are welcome Pearl, just make sure you look after your eyes πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the support, welcome to the commenting community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Really, is a big screen better? I never knew that.

      Thanks for your support Marianne, welcome to the blogs community πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  16. Excellent advice! It is nice to be reminded that giving your body a break from the computer is a good idea. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much time we’ve been sitting in the same position and, you’re correct, that’s not really the best scenario for our necks and backs.

    When I read the title of your article I was afraid that you were going to give us bad news about out eyes. Very glad to hear that I don’t have to be concerned about long term damage from looking at my screen all day! Thank you for the information!

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Its probably still not a good idea to stare at a screen for too long though Darci πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your interesting comment, welcome to the Technology Bloggers commenting community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  17. I’ve seen other ways of dealing with this; software that dims your computer’s monitor automatically after a certain amount of minutes. Then again, maybe its all designed to make you shell out more money.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I wonder how dimming the screen helps your eyes. I guess with most inventions like that you could question, is it really aimed at improving the health of your eyes, or is it a money making scheme?

      Thanks for the comment Dev, welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  18. I have another great tips to share here: remember to keep changing your sitting and typing posture every 10-20 minutes. Apart from that, blink your eyes more often because you will usually blink less often when you’re staring at the computer screen. These tips are really easy to implement yet effective! πŸ˜€

    • Christopher (admin team)

      It is important to also consider your posture, I would agree with you on that.

      Interesting website by the way πŸ™‚

      Thanks for adding those tips Norb, welcome to the blog!
      Christopher – Admin Team

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