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Preventing Computer Eye Strain Simple tips to  avoid a computer age malady.
by Raj Mehta


So you are hooked to using computers and surfing the Internet.; Can't get enough of it? Is your computer monitor giving you headaches, backaches, and making you otherwise miserable? Many people who work extensively with computers and video screens experience this discomfort, which is often difficult to  diagnose accurately. 

Symptoms include dry, sore eyes, contact lens discomfort, difficulty changing focus, glare sensitivity from the screen, and neck, back and shoulder pain. 

Some specialists summarize these symptoms under the term "Computer Eye Strain". Computer Eye Strain is not a clinical disease but rather a reaction to a computer centered office environment. It usually can be eliminated by making simple adjustments to your workplace. 

Prevent Blindness America, an Illinois based eye advocacy organization, recommends these guidelines to minimize the affects of Computer Eye Strain. Do explore their site. Here are some tips that they have given which the author has found useful: 

  • Place the computer screen so that it sits slightly below eye level. The screen should be 20 to 26 inches from your eyes. 
  • Adjust lighting to minimize glare and reflections. Placing a non-glare filter on the computer monitor will also reduce glare. 
  • Give your eyes a break by frequently standing up to stretch. If possible, alternate computer activities with other tasks. 
  • Use an adjustable copy holder that holds documents at the same level as the computer screen. This eliminates the need to swing around (to view documents) and helps reduce back and shoulder strain. 
  • Use artificial tears to moisten dry eyes. 
  • From time to time, say every half hour press the palms of your hands on the eyes to let the warmth from your hands relax the eye muscles. 
  • During the day if you can look out of the window at some greenery, that will also help.
  • Consult an eye doctor if symptoms persist. 

Prevent Blindness also recommends having periodic eye examinations, especially if you work with computer or video screens. 

If you are into reading a good book on the subject of improving eyesight, try this one::

"Better Eyesight Without Glasses by Bates, William H. ISBN: 0805002413


Copyright 1999 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.