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Your Eyes and Excessive Computer Use: How to Be Safe

Sitting and staring at a computer screen all day doesn’t just hurt your legs, back and shoulders but it can harm your eyes as well. We don’t notice it as much because the strain we put on our eyes is less painful than a sore back or sore, stiff shoulders. That doesn’t mean that it is less harmful though. In fact, 50 to 90 percent of workers that use computers to do their work everyday show symptoms of eye strain and other computer related eye issues. In order to ensure that you are keeping your eyes healthy and are working against straining them, take a look at and follow some of these eye safety tips.

If your eyes are the window to your soul, then why would you want to do anything that would cause damage to them? Of course, most of us can’t help the fact that we need to work at a computer all day everyday, but we can take precautions to lessen the damage and the strain. For starters, you should make sure you know where your eye health is right now. You can do that by getting an eye exam.

Get an Eye Exam
If you don’t have glasses and have been blessed with perfect vision, well good for you! You probably aren’t making annual trips to the eye doctor like those of us who are vision impaired. However, getting an eye exam and knowing how your eyes are doing is very important. Even if you don’t have eye issues or need glasses, experts say that if you work on a computer everyday you should get an annual, comprehensive eye exam. When the eye doctor asks you how long you use a computer, be honest. That way they can track your eye health and see if the extensive computer use is harming your eyes.

Make Sure Your Monitor is Up-To-Date
You may not be hip to the new technology that is out there today and may be just fine with that old 90’s desktop display. That’s fine, but the newer monitors are much easier on your eyes. According to All About Vision, LCD screens are much easier on the eyes and are usually equipped with anti-reflective surfaces. You want to go with a monitor that has the highest resolution. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image and the less eye strain you have.

Minimize Glare

Have you ever been in an office and saw those odd panels over the monitor or desktop of someone’s computer? I always wondered what they were and found out that they are anti-glare screens. If you can’t get one of these, then you should consider all of the other ways you can block out glare on your screen. If there are windows around you, close the shades so the sunlight does not create an issue for you. Glare can bounce off of the screen and do damage to your eyes. The same goes for bright lights in your workspace. Fluorescent lights are the lights that do the most damage. Try and phase these lights out if you can and use ones that are dimmer- or turn on only half of them at a time.

Studies show that when we look at a computer screen, we blink only half as often as we normally do. Place little reminders around your monitor so you remember to blink. You can write it on a post-it or stick it on the wall behind your monitor. Whatever you need to do to remember to blink. You can also keep eye drops near so if your eyes start to dry up you can refresh them and hydrate them regularly.

If you sit at the computer all day, then start employing the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen at an object that is at least 20 feet away. Keep your eyes there for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to rest from the harsh stare at your screen.

Get Sleep
When you start racking up a lack of sleep, your eye strain at work gets worse and worse. When we sleep, our eyes are replenished with nutrients. When we don’t get enough sleep, our eyes suffer. This is another reason why getting the right amount of sleep each night is detrimental to our health.

These are just a couple things you can do to minimize the strain computer use puts on your eyes. Follow these precautions and be careful when it comes to staring at a computer screen. You may not start to feel the effects right away, but eye strain from excessive computer use can cause headaches, loss of productivity, dry eyes and much more. So be kind to your eyes and take frequent breaks from work. The benefits are all yours.

SOURCE: All About Vision
IMAGE: Courtesy of WorldStart

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter