‘Five ways to look after your eyes while working in front of a computer screen’
Achy eyes? Sore neck? Blurred vision?
If you work in front of a computer screen, you may have experienced some, or all of these symptoms. Research suggests between 50 to 90% of computer workers experience physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased work errors caused by what optometrists refer to as “eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome”.
While there is no evidence to suggest any permanent damage to your eyesight, you should avoid long-term fatigue and strain on your eyes.
Here are five things you can do to look after your eyesight while working on a computer.
Trust me, your eyes will thank you for it!
Cut the lights
Make sure you are sitting in a well-lit room, away from too much sunlight. The idea is to avoid excessively bright light that can create glare on your screen. Position your monitor so that windows are to the side, rather than in front or behind it and close any shades or blinds. Use lower intensity bulbs and avoid working under bright fluorescent tubes when possible. You should be sitting in ambient lighting, half as bright as what is normally found in most offices.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule
The 20-20-20 rule is easy to remember: every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds and look 20 metres away. This should help relax your shoulders and your neck. “Our eyes are just not designed to be used at such a close distance for a long period of time,” Toowoomba Outlook Eye Centre Optometrist Shannon Smith says. “Giving them a well-deserved break will help avoid your long distance vision becoming blurry over time.”
Check your set-up
A computer screen that’s too close or distracting books and files can all contribute to eye strain. Position your monitor 50-70cm away from your eyes and ensure the top of your screen sits at eye level. You should be looking down at your work, not up. Also, avoid having your work materials spread out in different areas on your desk. Put your keyboard directly in front of your screen and any reading materials adjacent to you. This will avoid having to constantly re-focus for various distances.
Just keep blinking
Because we blink less when we are concentrating, particularly when on a computer, our eyes tend to become dry. This can lead to irritation and blurred vision. Simply taking a break to blink can help prevent this. You should also ensure air-conditioning vents aren’t blowing directly on your face, and you may also want to try lubricating eye drops.
Invest in computer lenses
Specialised computer lenses are becoming an increasingly popular choice for regular computer users. These lenses have been specifically designed to help minimise eye strain and other computer-related vision problems. Ensure you visit your optometrist every two years for a comprehensive eye exam. Your Toowoomba Outlook Eye Centre optometrist, Shannon will be happy to answer any questions and provide you with more information.