ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Protect Your Eyes When Using the Computer for a Long Time

Updated on February 13, 2013

Why should you (in the first place)?

I'm sure if you're reading this article, you are wondering why your eyes are burning and your head throbs after staring at a computer screen for eight hours, but this first section is about WHY exactly you should care about protecting your eyes during prolonged computer use.

There are many reasons, and here are few:

-Less headaches

-Less dry-eyes

-Less time spent focusing in and out of your environment

-Less eye-strain


But how, how does one accomplish this? The magical land of eye freedom? Oh, do read on!

First Line of Defense: Eyewear

Glasses or Contacts, pick your poison, but you need one or the other. If your eyes are "perfect", you still need glasses! Any subtle deviation from perfection causes your eye to strain when using a computer because your eyes are constantly focusing on one thing to the next. And say, when you go from staring at a screen for an hour straight and a coworker goes by and you look away from the screen to see what he/she is doing, that causes even more eye strain. You may not notice it right away, but changing distances and focusing becomes increasingly difficult not only as we age, but as we tend to stick on one distance over the rest.

So, you need glasses. Reading glasses won't work unless you're within two feet of the computer. I use reading glasses and I have perfect vision already. Why? Because they magnify whatever I'm looking at. Makes all the fine print easier to read. Bonus. No more, "what's that little thing there....?"

Second Lines of Defense: Take a Break!

Sometimes we can't, and that's understandable. Huge deadline right around the corner and you can't budge from your computer, but even so much as taking off your glasses and resting your face in hand. You can rub your eyes if you want, but that won't really do any actual good. The time away from the computer will, however brief, and however arbitrary.

Why? When our brain focuses on one distance for extended periods of time, it gets...."stuck" on that length. It starts to assume that that's pretty much the norm for seeing. That's why when after you've spent your hours and hours at the computer screen, focusing on anything is a challenge. Driving home is a challenge. That's because all that eye-strain has depleted your eye muscles of energy. Eye-fatigue. So, that's what the glasses are for.

And if you add in frequent breaks from the screen, it'll stop the hard-wired training of your eyes to that distance of seeing. It'll make it easier to focus on other things and do tasks after you're done with your computer for the day. Overall, it will make your life much better! Who knew simple breaks could do such wonders!

Third Line of Defense: Sizes and Options

How big your monitor screen is very important, but also the distance at which you sit to it is equally important. I have a 32" monitor, but I sit about five feet back from it so that everything in my workspace is about the same distance from me, and therefore my eyes don't have to strain to focus when switching tasks.

Most people have between 20 and 24" monitors at their workplaces, and usually larger ones (I use a television as a monitor) at home. Some of the smaller monitors can make it hard to read the small print and especially when the resolution on the monitor is set insanely high. Below is a chart of optimal distances that one would need to be at for their monitor to be viable.

Size of Monitor
Distance from Monitor
Screen Resolution
19"
2'
1024x768
20"
2-2.5'
1024x768
22"
2'-3'
1920x1080(near) or 1024x768(far)
24"
2'-4'
1920x1080(near) or 1024x768 (far)
30-36"
4-6'
1920x1080
42"+
exponentially farther away
1920x1080

Conclusion and Other Facts

If you have dry eyes, bring eye drops. If you have terrible monitors and can't read what's on them, invest in upgraded ones. If you have to focus on the screen for hours on end, at least be smart about it. You can always make time for proper eye hygiene habits. No project is so pressing that your eyes are so fatigued by the end of the day that you end up getting in a car crashing driving home. In the end, it's what you make it, but please be smart about it. I hope this article has proved helpful in some way or another, and I bid you a good day!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RunningDeer profile image

      RunningDeer 

      4 years ago from Iowa

      Did you know when you stare at a computer you blink less? Isn't that strange? Since I started my new job this year, I've noticed headaches, eyeaches, and dry eyes. Thanks for the tips!

    • profile image

      Johnathon 

      5 years ago

      Last time i was on the computer all day and my eyes started to hurt and i kept rubbing them and i regret that so now on i'm not going to go on for along time just like 1 or 2 hours and sometimes i double blink

    • ContriveIT profile image

      Contrive I.T. 

      5 years ago from Metairie, LA.

      Good info. I use a timer extension in chrome to alert me every 1/2 hr but I do need to get some glasses as suggested.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thanks for the advice. It will help me immensely!

    • Bumpsysmum profile image

      Bumpsysmum 

      5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      I believe there are a lot of people who don't realise the damage they can do to their eyes by not taking the precautions you outline here. It's so easy to keep saying 'just one more hour, then I'll stop', but we never do, that hour turns into two and so on. It's important to be strict with yourself. Good hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)