For many of us, myself included, we spend a great deal of our time on the computer. I know much of my waking hours are spent surfing the Internet and writing short blog posts. I am one of the fortunate few that have escaped eye strain or the other maladies such as headaches, that plague many computer users. When I read an article about eye strain and eye health, I thought it was worth passing it one to all of you. I have selected some of the ills and cures for your perusal.
Eyestrain may include one or a combination of the following:
- Pain and tension around the eyes and/or temples (which can spread to the head, neck and back)
- Eye dryness and/or redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty performing visual tasks
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
Eyestrain isn’t known to lead to permanent damage of the visual system, but it can keep you from doing your work. The causes of eyestrain vary for each individual, and may change for an individual over time. The three main types of causes are: inadequate workspace set-up, inefficient lighting, and lack of proper eye care. Let’s look at how to address all three to avoid eyestrain.
Eyestrain may cause you a lot of strife, through painful headaches and blurred vision. But you can fix eyestrain in a straightforward way, by modifying your work habits.
Enlarge text: Your eyes have to strain to read small text, so keep text large to give your eyes a break.
Read offline: Intense reading on a computer monitor isn’t ideal for productivity because eventually your eyes will tire out. When you come across a long article or document, print it out (in large-enough print of course).
Work in spurts: Your computer is set up for virtually nonstop work — but you aren’t a machine. You need to take breaks to recharge, and so do your eyes. The 20-20 rule is easy to remember: every 20 minutes take a 20-second break.
Re-position your monitor: When you stare at your computer monitor, you naturally blink less often. So your eyes don’t get naturally lubricated as often. This leads to eye dryness and redness. To reduce this effect, position your monitor below eye-level.
Relax: Work is important, but you need to be relaxed enough so that tension and stress don’t get in the way. Take frequent short breaks during the day, and longer breaks one to two times a day so that you can get your mind off work.
Inadequate lighting is another major cause for eyestrain. Too much lighting overexposed and irritates the eye. Too little lighting causes the eye to strain in order to see. There are several ways to adjust the lighting in your environment to find what works best for you.
Adjust monitor brightness and contrast settings: Go to your monitor settings and decrease the brightness and contrast until you find the balance that’s easiest on your eyes. You’d be surprised how bright and contrasted the default settings are.
Adjust other lights in the room: Even if your monitor and desktop settings are set for optimal use, light from your surroundings can irritate your eyes. If the room is too dark, that can affect the overall brightness of the monitor.
There is additional information at the link below, but the above tips should help you to relieve eye strain. I know for a fact that proper lighting in a room is important. I have been to many offices in which the work areas are flooded in fluorescent lighting which tends to reflect on the computer screens. It is amazing that ergonomics is a practice by many businesses follow but that proper lighting seems to take last place in workers comfort.
What do you do to relieve eye strain and to keep your eyes healthy?
Share your experiences with us.