Friday, March 2, 2012

Shifting Images: Reduce Eye Strain

I have resisted wearing glasses much of my life. Yes, I know I am getting older, and my eye sight will change. I finally have resorted to "arm stretchers" (reading glasses) for my book work.  I also realized that spending a considerable amount of time on the computer will cause additional eye strain. Looking at the computer screen for long periods of time can cause your eyes muscles to tire and become over-used. There are a number of things you can do to reduce "computer related eye strain" (CRES) or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

  1.  Take a break every 20 minutes and look away from the computer screen and into the distance, out the window, for example.  (Consider Workrave to remind you.)
  2. Your computer monitor should be 20 to 24 inches from your eyes.  [I just measured mine.. exactly 24 inches!]
  3. Older CRT computer screens are harder on the eyes and contribute to eye strain. Consider upgrading to an LCD screen with anti-glare.   If you use a CRT at work, set the set the display settings to the highest possible refresh rate. LCD screens don't flicker like CRT screens, so the lower refresh rate is not a problem with LCD.
  4.  Yes, you can adjust the text size on your computer.  (CTRL/+ to increase the text on most browsers.)
  5.  You might consider a pair of "computer glasses".  They aren't cheap but a great help in reducing eye strain headaches.
  6. Be sure to blink.. alot!  Studies show that people that are on the computer tend to blink less than normal leading to dry eye issues.
  7.  Walk away!  Take regular breaks from the computer will reduce muscular issues in your eyes, shoulders and back.
  8. Be sure to have regular eye exams and discuss your computer use with your optometrist.
Be proactive in protecting your eyesight and reducing or eliminating serious side effects that come from eye strain. ☺

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