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Responsible Use of the Computer Starts With…

…eye protection!

With the fact that most of us work in front of a computer for 8 hours, 5 days a week (or even more!), it is impossible not to be a victim to eye woes related to our computer use. A general cause of computer-related eye woes stems from the fact that we hardly ever blink. As we focus more on the task that we are doing, we fail to notice that we are not blinking as often as we should be.

Person using computer

Trying to blink often reduces computer-related eye woes such as dry eyes, eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches and other eye-related problems that fall under the category of computer vision syndrome.

The AOA or the American Optometric Association describes computer vision syndrome as eye-related problems that result from prolonged computer use. As more hours are spent in front of a computer, the level of discomfort appears to increase. Headaches are more heightened, dry eyes suddenly become an everyday problem and a blurred vision warrants the use of glasses.

Avoid computer vision syndrome by reminding yourself to blink often. Put a note on your computer screen to remind yourself to stand up and take a break even for just a short while. The change of view can help your eyes recover from the strain.

Have ample lighting too when using a computer. It is strange how some people are able to focus more on what they are doing in front of the computer if their surroundings are dark and the only source of light is the light that emanates from their computer screen. It is a powerful cause of eye strain and you might have to visit your optometrist to have your eyes checked. If a dark room is essential to help you focus, have ambient lighting or a lamp high enough to give you lighting above your head.

Adjust your monitor’s brightness too. Strike a balance between its brightness and contrast to relax your eyes as you continue with your work.

If you have vision problems to begin with, have it corrected immediately so your computer use won’t aggravate it. The wearing of prescription glasses can help address computer-related eye woes significantly.

Lastly, be conscious of your posture when using your computer. Your chair should be at the right height to your computer screen. Your shoulders and back should be relaxed and your wrists must be able to rest on the desk as you type or use the mouse. Always check the position of your screen. Also, slouching forces your eyes to be closer to the monitor so better avoid it before it becomes a habit.

Again, take a break every once in a while. Your eyes (and your body!) will thank you for it!


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