If you have to spend most of your working day being required to look at the bright light of a computer screen for lengthy periods of time then you may suffer from eye strain which can cause headaches.This is an all too common complaint and is simply your eyes telling you that they are tired of the repetitive use and they need a break.
Of course, any eye complaint or headache, if it persists, should be checked out by a doctor or optician to rule out any underlying health issues that you may have.
However, getting back to eye strain, the most common symptoms with this complaint are a feeling of wanting to close your eyes which is not due to direct tiredness, headache, losing your concentration and not being able to fully focus on your work, your eyes becoming sore or red and maybe feeling dry and itchy or even watering.
The upper part of your body may be affected also as you tend to remain in the same position, hunched over your screen and this can include tightening and stiffening of the shoulders, upper back, the neck and even the face. This can cause what is called a tension headache.
It may sound simple but taking regular breaks from the screen will help as will ensuring a good distance between yourself and the screen.
Good posture and stretching your body will release built up muscle tension.
If it is at all possible, turn down the glare of your computer and maybe position your personal workspace so that the glare of other employees' computers do not annoy or affect you.
Ensure that you keep hydrated which will help in reducing the unwanted feeling of fatigue. Even becoming mildly dehydrated can cause you to feel tired and unable to concentrate on your work. Dehydration causes a drop in blood pressure which then leads to you becoming irritated, developing a headache and feeling sleepy.
The quality of air, the ventilation and the circulation of it within the office space is very important too as if the air is too dry and lacks moisture then it can adversely affect your health.
The artificial and often fluorescent lighting can also have a negative effect on you so if possible work by natural lighting which employers are realising benefits employees enormously and boosts productivity.
Noise is often part of an office environment yet for some, can readily cause a headache and be extremely distracting. Certain people are just more sensitive to noise than others. If ear defenders, ear plugs or headphones are available then these can be a great way to be able to block out unnecessary noise and allow you to concentrate.
Up to three quarters of adults within the United Kingdom need to wear glasses whether this is all the time, for reading, watching television, working or driving and regular optical appointments are recommended for everyone. A headache can be one of the first signs that you may need to wear glasses.
If you are on a low wage you may be entitled to free eye tests and help with the cost of glasses and in certain circumstances your employer may be able to assist with the cost. It is certainly worth enquiring about this or asking your HR department for more information.
Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.