Like most people, I diligently work on a computer all day, happily typing away hour after hour. Also, like most people, at the end of the day I feel eyestrain accompanied by a monster headache. I always assumed it was due to staring at the computer all day, so I finally broke down and looked up tips to soothe my throbbing head and sore eyes.
As I searched through news articles and medical websites, I ran across an article that correlated prolonged computer use with blindness. Naturally, this freaked me out and my mind raced with terrible thoughts. Would I have to change jobs? How would I live without my sight? When would it happen, today or fifty years from now?
Of course, I don’t need to tell you that the article I saw was blown way out of proportion; blindness from looking at a computer screen is not really a major threat to worry about. Thankfully, experts confirm that we will not go blind from using a computer every day! However, some do confirm that there are a slew of minor, but every annoying, eye problems linked to starring at a monitor all day. Here are a few side effects of eyestrain that you may experience on a daily basis:
- Red eyes
- Dry eyes
- Neck and back aches
- Eyelid twitching
- Eye pain
Never fear, though. To keep your eyes in check just follow these simple but valuable tricks:
- Use the 20/20/20 rule: Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes and look at a something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Position your monitor between 10-15 degrees below eye level and keep 20-28 inches in between.
- Ceiling lights should be about half as bright or you should use a floor/desk lamp (for an indirect light source) while using the computer.
- Exercise your eyes (look up and down, then side to side for 10 seconds every half hour) and blink more throughout the day. Studies show we blink five times less while using the computer.
- See your eye doctor at least once each year. Doctors will not only check the health of your eyes, but they can also detect other life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
There you have it! No matter if you’re in the office or working at home, following these tips and making them part of your routine will ease eyestrain and make life at the computer a little less agonizing. There’s no shame in taking a few seconds to rest your eyes every now and then.