Eyestrain/squinting temporary relief?
November 16, 2015 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Good news: I have been to the optometrist and got a new glasses prescription! Bad news: it'll be a week or so until they get here, and my face hurts.

I'm getting new glasses for my computer use, as my prescription has changed enough that my reading glasses aren't hacking it. But until then, I'm still finding myself involuntarily squinting at my monitors and it's making the muscles under my eyes hurt.

Any suggestions for temporary pain relief or ways to stop the squinting? I work in web design/maintenance and do computerized graphic design work after hours so not looking at computers until I get the new glasses isn't an option, alas. Consciously relaxing the muscles in my face works temporarily, but then I get involved in something and I find myself squinting or worse, twitching and rapidly blinking my eyes. (I'm 99% sure the latter's due to the squinting.) I got moved to an office with a window, so I'm trying to remember to stand up and look outside at distances every hour or so.
posted by telophase to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: You will look like an idiot but just pop a post it or piece of scotch tape onto your face in the middle of your eyebrows where they crinkle when you're furrowing/squinting. The second you start to squint the tape will remind you to stop it.

Great temporary measure.

Just don't forget to take the tape off before leaving your desk only to find it while sitting on your train home and wonder how many people saw you looking like a doofus not that I've done this of course cough cough.
posted by phunniemee at 1:48 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

It'll also help if you set yourself periodic timers to get up and stretch. You're probably going to get headaches even without overt squinting, because eye strain does that. Make sure to look at far-away objects (like out the window) when you get up.
posted by SMPA at 2:27 PM on November 16, 2015

1. Don't know what your prescription is like, but many people can find decent enough reading/computer glasses in the 'reading glasses' display at any drugstore. Just hold some reading material at computer monitor distance and try all the different reading glasses strengths until you find one that looks the clearest.

If you have a strong prescription, it may be that none of the reading glasses will do anything at all for you (they are all just different degrees of blur for me, for example). If that is the case, you could try putting some (of the weakest, probably) reading glasses over your existing glasses and see if that might help. Again, try each and every of the different power reading glasses at your local drug store this way.

2. Wide open pupils exacerbate your poor vision while narrow/small pupils minimize your visual defects. How can you make your pupils narrow? Turn up the brightness on your screen, put some more light around your workspace, etc. More brightness in your visual field will make your pupils shrink--the brighter the better (up to a point, of course . . . ). It's a very real effect--though whether you will be able to make enough difference to really help depends on a lot of things. But it would be pretty simple to experiment with it and see for yourself if it helps at all, on a temporary basis.
posted by flug at 7:27 PM on November 16, 2015

Dim the ambient lights: the overhead ones and light coming from the window. Increase the font size on the screens, both on the computer and your table and your phone. Your phone's font size should be granny-large. (No one will judge!) If the overhead lights cannot be dimmed, wear a visor or ball cap. Dim the monitors, tablet and phone. Push your monitors as far back as possible. Wear shades outside, even on partly cloudy days.
posted by dlwr300 at 5:43 AM on November 17, 2015

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