Are your eyes tired at the end of the work day? If so, you certainly are not alone. Eye strain is a common problem, especially since so many people use computers both at work and at home. Adults as well as children are involved in computer-related activities and are using computers for hours each day. According to an article in CNet News, it was found that an average of 13 hours per week are spent online. If your work involves the use of a computer the time you spend staring at a computer screen each week is even greater, which markedly increases your chances for getting eye strain.
Eye strain is not always a serious condition but according to the Eye Doctor Guide, studies have shown that excessive computer use can increase the risk for glaucoma and other eye disorders. The American Optometric Association states that a series of eye and vision problems known as computer vision syndrome can occur from using the computer. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) usually occurs because the visual tasks required for staring at a computer screen for long periods of time put excessive demands upon the eyes. You may experience symptoms such as blurred or double vision, inability to focus on the words, headaches or neck and shoulder pain. Tired eyes can interfere with your ability to work effectively and can result in your making more errors. Your ability to concentrate effectively can also be affected as a result of the eye strain. Here are some things you can do to help avoid eye strain:
– Make changes in your work environment as necessary. Adjust the chair height or the height of your desk. Always sit so that your head is straight and you do not have to tilt your head in order to view the screen. Do not sit in a twisted or contorted position as this will cause strain on your back and neck muscles. It is recommended that your monitor be approximately 18 to 24 inches away from you. Eye strain can occur if the monitor is too close or too far away.
– Avoid staring constantly at the computer screen. Get in the habit of looking away from the computer regularly. Look around the room, focus on distant objects, or just close your eyes for about five minutes at a time to rest the eye muscles.
– Monitor the time you spend on the computer and give yourself a break periodically. It doesn’t take long to realize how quickly your eyes can get tired. Plan to have at least one day per week when you do no computer work at all to give your eyes a total rest.
– Be sure you have the appropriate light where your computer is located. Shield the computer screen from glare as the eyes will try to adjust to the varied light levels caused from glare and this will lead to eye strain. Sun glare on a computer screen makes reading the print on the computer screen very difficult. Use blinds or heavy curtains to block out this intense light. Anti-glare screens can also be helpful.
– See your eye doctor on a regular basis. If you know your eyes are suffering from eye strain, make an appointment to see your optometrist. Prescription eyeglasses which are too old can cause you to strain your eyes as well. According to All About Vision, you should have routine eye exams every one to three years as an adult. Children should have their eyes checked every two years once they are school age.
CBS News: “How to ease your computer eye strain”
Natural eye care: “Reduce computer eye strain”
Mayo Clinic: “Eye strain”
CNet News: “Average Net user now online 13 hours per week”
American Optometric Association: “Computer vision syndrome (CVS)”