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Computer Users Report Increase in Eye Strain - Guidelines to reducing eye strain

We're all more likely than ever to spend prolonged periods looking at a computer monitor. Many people now have laptops and this has led to almost incessant use, both at work and home, due to the increase in activities that can be performed from a PC with internet connection i.e. online shopping, communication and socialising to name a few. It's no exaggeration to stress that many of us are living the majority of our waking lives peering at a backlit screen.

Don't stress this isn't going to turn into a luddite rant, I'm as attracted by the lure of the PC as anybody. After a particularly long session hunched over my laptop however I do occasionally imagine the distant echo of my mother's disapproving voice nagging about 'square eyes'. A matter that should worry most of us who use computers to this length is: What are the effects of staring at a computer monitor for hours on end?

Well, while there are unlikely to be any long term unfavourable problems, PC linked eye-strain is an increasingly common complaint. The symptoms will doubtless be recognisable to many of you: sore, tired, burning eyes, blurred vision, headache, after images when you look away for the monitor, light sensitivity and dry eyes. The frustration is that however much your eyes are suffering, stopping work and giving your eyes a sustained rest might not be an option, particularly if you're doing something important that relies on using a computer.

Below are some guidelines to help reduce the strain on your eyes:

Let yours eyes rest - Take a minute or two to assist your eye to rest; look out of the window, close them, anything that will give them a break for a while will help.

Non-computer work - A large number of us will have work to do that can be done without a computer; endeavour to set aside this work and do it when your eyes need a rest from the PC screen.

Correct Seating - In short, you should sit close to arms length from the monitor with your eyes level with the top of the display. Adjust the font size or screen resolution if you have difficulty reading the fonts from the correct distance.

Blinking - While using a PC intensively you will realise you blink less often than normal. Make certain you blink consciously every so often to stop your eyes from drying. If you have severely dry eyes you can always try eye drop known as "artificial tears" (these can be found online at sites such as Vision Direct Online Contact Lenses)

Check your lenses - to see if they are contributing to your eye complaint (consult your optician). If you find they are a problem check with your optician about switching to a hydrating lens. Another choice is to buy specialist computer glasses that have been constructed especially for the job (you can find more info at All About Vision). On a side note if your optician recommends a lens you may get them cheaper online at sites such as Vision Direct Contact Lenses.

Before making any changes be certain to consult your doctor or optician.





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