If you work on a computer, like many office workers and students do, you most likely have experienced itchy, dry, sore, or irritated eyes after staring at your computer for an extended period of time. Sometimes, your vision can become blurry, and a headache may occur as well.
You may be lunging for your eye drops, or hurling your computer across the room, but who is really at fault-the computer, or you?
Lucky for you, even though computers do cause damage to your eyes, there are certainly preventative measures you can take.
There have been studies that show that 50-90% of people who work in front of a computer screen show symptoms of eye damage. “We definitely see a lot of people who complain of eyestrain,” says opthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler. “Hours upon hours of close focusing without taking a break is usually the main culprit.”
In fact, this issue has become a big enough danger that there is now a name, and its called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
According to Wachler, the average person blinks around 18 times per minute, refreshing the eye. However, when your eyes are fixed on a computer screen or other technological device, your eyes may burn, turn red, or feel itchy and dry.
Wachler said, “Sitting too close to your computer monitor, or holding a digital device closer to your eyes than you would normally hold a book or newspaper, also poses a problem. This forces your eyes to work harder than usual as you strain to focus on tiny font sizes.”
Rather than muscling through the discomfort and possible pain, here are some simple fixes from Jeffrey Anshel, founder of Corporate Vision Counseling and author of the Visual Ergonomics Handbook, to help with eyestrain:
1. Lower your monitor. The top of the screen should be level with your eyes, similar to a book or other reading material.
2. Reduce the glare from your monitor by angling it so that there are no reflections of light on the surface. Try to keep your viewing distance 20-40 inches from your computer.
3. Use the “3 Bs approach-” blink, breathe and break. Blink often to refresh your eyes, and breathing correctly can help relax the muscles in your eyes. Also, take frequent, short breaks, since working on a computer can take a lot of focus.”Remember the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds and look 20 feet away,” says Anshel. “There is no one solution to all types of problems encountered with computer use,” he concludes, “but, with a little research, the answer to many of these problems may be right before your eyes.”
Source: CNN Health