Computer usage is at an all-time high for many people as we approach the end of 2013, with clocked hours flowing overtime to make up for the time off often taken around the holidays. For those who use a computer often, either for work or to avoid mile-long department store lines by online shopping, computer vision syndrome can become a problem. In fact, The Vision Council reported last year that almost 70% of U.S. adults experience some sort of eye strain from digital devices. Below, Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons provides tips for avoiding the discomfort that accompanies keeping your eyes on the screen for extended periods of times.
The right lighting is vital for maintaining healthy vision. A desk lamp on your desk is healthier for the eyes than florescent overhead lighting. If you must have overhead lights in your office, your computer should be positioned so that it does not reflect any light from them or any open windows, which should ideally be to the sides of you rather than in front or behind. This is also essential as disregarding eye health can lead to a change in eye prescription over time.
Keep your computer screen at least 20 inches away from your eyes. The position, size, and brightness of your computer greatly influence how you’ll be affected by time spent at the desk. Center your monitor four to six inches below your eyes, big enough to see without leaning in closely, and bright enough to easily see. Additionally, be sure that text size is large enough that you are comfortable reading it without squinting.
Blink, blink, and blink again. While it may seem obvious, blinking often does not always come easy when you are in the zone. Blink often and use artificial tears to moisturize the eyes as necessary, especially if you have dry eyes or wear contact lenses.
Take a quick rest. Every 20 minutes, it’s important to remember the simple 20-20-20 rule to look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Set reminders on your computer if needed!
Schedule an eye exam. If tired eyes, headaches, and neck pain are still bothersome, visit Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons’ board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. William Segal or optometrist Dr. Marc Lay to find the right solution for you. We can prescribe a prescription pair of glasses or corrective lenses specifically for computer-use.