Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eye Pain in Computer Users - How Can You Relieve It??

Recent researches have shown that 50%-90% of computer workers suffer from eye strain or some other eye problem.  There are some proven techniques of relieving the problem:
1. Periodical eye exam - once a year it's recommended to perform an exam, including asking the doctor for advice about working with computers for long hours a day.

2. Mind the light strength around you - often people work in an environment which has an excessively bright light.  In average, an office is bright as two times as it should be.  So it's recommended to close a bit the curtain or limit the number of bulbs in the office. Especially it's recommended to avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights.

 3. Minimize Glare - this is a main cause to eye strain.  To avoid it, paint your walls in a color other than white ,install an anti-glare screen  on your monitor and cover the windows of your office. If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating.   AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.

4.  Move to LCD monitors - monitor such as we find in laptops. These monitors  are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface.  The monitor should  have the highest resolution  you can afford, because it allows a lower dot pitch.       Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.

 5. Adjust brightness & contrast - adjust the display settings on your computer so the brightness of the screen is about the same as your work environment.  As a test, try looking at the white background of this web page. If it looks like a light source, it's too bright.   If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.

6. Blink a lot - when people work at a computer, they tend to blink less.  This behavior causes many eye problems, since the blinking is crucial to the eye's health as it coats the eye with tears (defending the eye).     Try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help wet your eyes.

 7. Exercise your eyes - Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.  Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.   Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times.

8. Take many breaks - as much as it sounds funny, taking breaks may help your eye's health.   Most workers take two breaks a day of about 15 minutes each.  researches have implied that taking additional 3-4 abrupt breaks of about 5 minutes, is very healthy to the eye. The surprising side of this method is that the productivity of the works hasn't declined due to the additional breaks, due to the extra freshness of their eyes.

9. Improve your workstation - Put printed pages as close to the screen as possible, to prevent the eye's movement between the monitor and the pages.  

If you  want to use a desk lamp,  make sure it doesn't shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.
Purchase  furniture to enable you to position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.

10. Change your glasses or lenses - it would be great to change those with glasses/lenses especially compatible with intensive computer work.

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