Computer Eye Strain
The majority of us spend at least a portion of each day on our computers. For many of us, the computer is practically another appendage on our bodies. While there are certainly many conveniences associated with daily access to a computer, there are also some drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is that ongoing use of a computer can lead to a variety of different health problems from back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the major health problems that many people forget to worry about until it's too late is the strain that reading a computer screen puts on your eyes.
Computer eye strain is a serious health problem that you have a good chance of encountering if you spend a good chunk of time online each day. There is no formula to say how many hours online per day is too many or what your likelihood is of contracting this problem. However, it's a safe bet to assume that prolonged exposure to the computer screen has a good chance of leading to the development of computer eye strain. That's the bad news. The good news is that there are things that you can start doing now to alleviate any symptoms of computer eye strain that you're experiencing as well as to prevent future eye strain from being a health problem in your life.
First, you should know what it means to have computer eye strain. The main symptom is, of course, that your eyes hurt. Other symptoms having to do with the eyes include that the screen gets blurry when you read it and/or that looking at other items around you after reading the computer results in blurry images. If you are looking from your screen to a document on your desk and it takes some time for your eyes to refocus after each shift from one to the other, you probably have eye strain. There are also symptoms that aren't about the eyes which go along with this. The primary one is headaches but you may also experience tension and pain in the neck and back.
If you've been having these symptoms and you believe that they might be related to prolonged computer eye strain, these are some of the things that you can do to remedy the problem and prevent it in the future:
- Take regular breaks from your computer. You would be surprised how much relaxation you give to your eyes just by taking a five minute break from the computer screen every hour. It's good for the rest of your body to get up and move around, too, so you should get in the habit of taking regular breaks. Stand up from the desk, close your eyes and stretch your limbs.
- Exercise your eyes. It sounds a little bit silly to exercise something that's strained, but it's actually beneficial in this instance. Your eyes are strained because they're just boring into the computer screen for such a long period of time. Blinking them, moving them around so that they focus on a variety of different things and squeezing them open and shut will all help to get that glaze out of them.
- Set your computer monitor to refresh regularly. If your screen is refreshing itself, you're going to have to take a moment to refresh your eyes as well. These moments add up to healthier eyes.
- Make sure they're moist. People who have problems with computer eye strain often suffer from dry eyes. Eye drops are a solution that many people find helpful.
- Get the right glasses or contacts if you need them. Make sure that your eye doctor knows that you spend a lot of time looking at the computer because he might recommend a different type of computer reading glasses than those recommended for other daily wear.
Computer eye strain is a problem that is usually only temporary. Chances are that you aren't going to do serious damage to your eyes that can't be reversed just by looking at your computer screen for too long. However, your daily health is important. By changing a few of your daily computer habits, you can make sure that you don't get computer eye strain and that you feel better on a regular basis.