Computer Straining Your Eyes? How to Prevent it!

Man working at computer screenSmall pile of books with a pair of glasses placed on themFemale holding her head with her hands

Whilst our lives have become dependent on computers, our bodies haven't quite accepted the idea. Every day computer users complain of blurred vision, tired eyes, gritty eyes and headaches. Many start to wear eye glasses and blame their computers. Others are convinced that their computer has caused their Myopia (nearsightedness) to worsen. High tech employees worry about radiation from the computer screen. Can the computer lead to irreversible eye damage?

The good news is that extensive eye care health research in Israel and in North America has shown conclusively and repeatedly that computers do not cause eye disease. Nor has it been shown that intensive computer work can lead to or effect myopia in high tech workers. (The situation with children is slightly more controversial but this will be discussed in another article) However there is no doubt that computers can lead to many temporary eye problems most of which can be solved by simple changes in work pattern.

The sooner any symptoms begin, for instance within half an hour of commencing work, the more likely it is that there is a specific problem. Developing tired eyes after eight hours of non stop intensive visual activity is normal though. Try running the New York , London or Jerusalem marathons and see if your legs get tired.

The following are some simple tips to prevent eye strain and to enhance your eye health care for many years to come.

Have your eyes and vision checked at least once a year. Any minor vision problem will be aggravated by computer use. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure they are appropriate for computer use and for the distance between you and your computer.

Be sure to rest your eyes regularly, especially if you are new to computers. Remember the 20:20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look in to the distance for 20 seconds. Continuous use of any part of the body, including your eyes, will inevitably lead to fatigue.

Your computer should be at a comfortable distance (about 30-40cm) and the top of the screen should be facing you and slightly below eye level. Adjust your desk or chair so that this is the case. Our eyes are designed to point forwards and downwards when looking at near objects, e.g. when reading. Looking upwards or sideways at your computer will rapidly lead to eye strain.

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