If you are reading this article then I think it is safe to assume that you use a computer on regular basis! In fact, just about everyone these days uses a computer for at least part of the day and the vast majority of us use them for both work and recreational use. If using a computer is part of your working day and you also use computers for your personal use, then the chances are you will be spending at least 8 hours a day sat in front of a computer screen.
When you are using a computer, your eyes have to work overtime to keep things in focus. You have a lens inside your eye and it works in a similar way to a lens in a camera. It changes shape/size when you are focussing on an object. This lens is controlled by muscles in your eyes and they are under the greatest stress when we are looking at things close to us, such as a computer screen. Now contrary to what people sometimes think, computers do not damage our eyes in anyway, although prolonged use may lead to certain symptoms such as the following:
- Headaches: Most commonly frontal headaches although they can sometimes be temporal as well.
- Sore, stinging eyes: We don’t tend to blink as much as we should when we are using the computer, which is the main reason we get these symptoms.
- Blurred far vision: After prolonged computer use we may find that our distance vision is temporarily blurred.
Ok, so surely there are some useful hints and tips to stop my eyes feeling like this on the computer? There certainly are and if you follow the following 5 pieces of advice you should find that working on the computer feels more comfortable than ever:
- Take regular breaks: This may be difficult to implement depending on what kind of a boss you have! Ideally you should take a 5 minute break every hour you spend on the computer. During this 5 minutes try to focus on things in the distance as this helps relax the lens in your eye. The worst thing you can do is read a book during your 5 minute break as this puts a similar amount of strain on your eyes.
- Blink regularly: We naturally should blink every 10 seconds or so but this can be as little as every 30 seconds when starring at the computer screen. Blinking helps get oxygen to our eyes and it also helps to remove any debris such as dust, which can cause your eyes to sting.
- Don’t sit too close to your computer screen: You need to sit at least 65cm away from your computer screen as sitting close requires the muscles in your eyes to work harder.
- Look into the distance: Every 5 minutes or so you should try to look into the distance to help your eyes relax. For example, if you work in an office, just have a look to the opposite end from where you sitting.
- Sit slightly above your computer: You should always sit slightly above your computer and this is especially important if you wear bifocals or multifocal glasses. This will ensure that you do not have to slant your head backwards which could result in neck strain as well as eye strain.
I hope these bits of advice mean you can work more comfortably on the computer and become even more productive whilst at work. You should find that you finish work feeling slightly more refreshed than you normally would and that is never a bad thing.
To find out more about eye health you can visit Treatment Saver which aims to provide independent advice on eye health, laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery.