28 July 2010

Easy Steps You Can Take For Computer Eye Strain

*** Vision problems are on a dramatic rise as computers become a regular part of our everyday lives for several hours a day.

Increasing condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome

From Denny: You are in front of a computer all day and your eyes hurt. So what else is new? Yeah, but do you take measures to take care of your eyes? If you use a computer more than two hours a day it's possible you might be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Of course, with computers becoming more important than just at the work place, this CVS is both a new and growing condition. Did you know that this condition impacts as much as 70 percent of people who work at least two hours daily on a computer? So, you can imagine this story caught my weary computer eyes' attention. :)

What can we do to help our eyes while cruising the web or at the work place?

Got digital addiction? We have iPhones, iPods, Blackberries, laptop computers and more hand-held devices that attract and often demand our attention. Some people are more prone to this condition than others. CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains how you can ease your eye strain.

"It's a new and growing condition that's a byproduct of modern technology," she said. "The most common symptoms are: eye strain, dry or irritated eyes, fatigue, and headaches."

More From Ashton: "According to eye care specialists (at the University of Pennsylvania) almost 71 percent of those who have reported experiencing the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. These people also report more eye, neck and back pain than people who do not use optical aids. Also, though heredity seems to play a significant role in the development of myopia in childhood, some research suggests that eye strain, and specifically computer eye strain, may also be involved."

So what can we do when our work demands prolonged computer use?

Here are some easy tips from Ashton on how to ease our eye strain. Over the years of using computers I figured out these steps but this is a great review if you find yourself having eye strain and maybe got away from some good work habits:

Blink Often: When looking at a computer or hand-held digital device, it's common for you to blink two to three times less than you normally would. This can lead to "dry eye." Blinking bathes your eyes in tears, and tears are naturally therapeutic for the eyes.

The 20/20/20 Rule: When spending long periods in front of a digital device, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away to allow your eyes to rest.

Ensure Proper Lighting: Poor lighting often causes eye strain. To help ease the strain on your eyes, keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum and position your desk lamp to shine on your desk, and not at you. Position your computer screen in a way that reduces reflections and glare from windows or overhead lights.

Location of computer screen: Most people find it more comfortable to view a computer when the eyes are looking downward. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.

Here are two recommended sites about eye care:

Vision Care for Life

American Optometric Association

*** Eye Photo by MJ Cobweb @ flickr

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