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Keep Your Focus: How To Avoid Computer Eye Strain

Posted Jul 14 2013 7:00am

By Chelsea Miller

eye Computers are very much a part of our working lives and they also feature in our leisure time as well so it is little wonder when you consider the amount of time we spend each day looking at a screen, that are eyes can sometimes feel the strain.

Odds are against you

Computer related eye strain has become one of the major complaints related to our work environment and there are numerous studies that show how vulnerable we all are to this complaint, affecting anywhere between 50% and as much as 90% of the workforce who use computers to carry out their regular work duties.

Symptoms

There are some wide ranging symptoms that you can show as a result of suffering from computer related eye strain but mainly they will be physical fatigue and a severe decrease in productivity, an increase in the number of errors you are making and even some involuntary eye twitching and red eyes, all of which would be signs that you are suffering from the recognized complaint of computer vision syndrome.

Eye examination

When you consider the odds of getting a computer related eye strain at some time are so high then you must ensure that you go regularly for an eye examination in order to identify any potential problems at a very early stage.

Adequate lighting

A common problem that leads to eye strain is the lack of adequate lighting in the workplace. If the lighting conditions that you are working under are either too bright or not bright enough to combat the glare from a screen. Ideally your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that which is typically found in many offices. If you can avoid working directly under overhead fluorescent lights and switch to floor lamps that provide indirect incandescent or halogen lighting instead, you will be greatly reducing your risk of developing an eye strain.

Glare

The glare that you can experience coming off from walls and finished surfaces when added to the reflections that you get from the computer screen as well is a common cause of computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen to reduce the risk of exposure and if you wear glasses then you can also purchase lenses that have an anti-reflective coating which will minimize the amount of light that gets reflected.

Replace your monitor

If you are still living in the dark ages when it comes to computer screens, then you are increasing your risk of eye strain greatly. Old style CRT monitors which worked on a cathode ray tube are no longer acceptable for prolonged use and you need to upgrade your display screen to an LCD version which will have an anti-reflective surface already fitted and will not flicker in the same way that that the old style screens do. Very often the flicker is imperceptible but it is a hidden danger that needs addressing by changing to a modern screen that has a higher resolution and does not suffer from the old issue of flicker either.

Take a break

A very common cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue and there is a guideline recommended by doctors called the 20-20 rule which involves looking away from your computer for at least 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of use. This simple exercise reduces the risk of eye strain and taking regular breaks by physically moving away from your computer is also an excellent strategy to keep eye strain at bay.

Taking sensible precautions and using the right equipment and lighting will help you to avoid becoming one of those statistics who have suffered from an occurrence of computer related eye strain.

- Chelsea Miller is an experienced optical technician. She loves to share her insights through blogging. Visit the Lenstore.co.uk for more information.

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