Image: picjumbo.com

Image: picjumbo.com

If you spend most of your time in front of a computer like me – as it is necessary to keep the bank account smiling in this economy that angers bank accounts – then you should know that you run the risk of developing vision problems with time.

Spending extended period of time in front of a computer screen can do a number of damages to your well-being – it can cause headaches, fatigue and dry eye, double vision and even leave you daydreaming about what it’s like to actually go outside (you can get that engrossed).

The most common reason for computer-related eyestrain is improper ergonomics – a poorly arranged or positioned workstation. Age may also play a factor in how tired you feel after looking at a computer screen. A much older person may experience eye strain when reading from a computer than a younger person.

If you’ve been experiencing eyestrain after using your computer for a while – regardless of your age – here are the steps you can take to reduce eyestrain and other vision maladies.

Use a quality monitor

A computer monitor with a high resolution is easier on the eyes. Computer manufacturers have identified this and are coming up with improved monitor resolution in new computers. When next you need to acquire a new personal computer, make it a priority to get one that the monitor has a high resolution.

Position your computer correctly

The computer monitor should be directly in front of you. You should not have to shift your head to the side to look at a monitor – a position that could give you a stiff neck. Position your monitor about 25 inches from where you’re sitting and at a desk height that allows you to look straight ahead or slightly downward to see the screen.

Avoid the glare

It is important you avoid the glare on your computer screen as a contact with your eyes will make you squint, and that can lead to eyestrain. To avoid contact, you need to position your computer so that your light source is behind it. You may also want to use a filter on your computer screen that reduces glare.

Take frequent breaks

Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Here’s the rule; very simple – every 20 minutes, shift your eyes from the computer to something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Don’t forget to blink. 

The average adult typically blinks about 16 to 18 times a minute. However, when people sit down in front of a computer screen, they blink half as much. Next time you spend time in front of a computer, remember to blink, a lot.

Ask your doctor about computer-friendly glasses

Your doctor can recommend bifocals, glasses with split lenses that helps you to see things up close as well as at a distance. Consider getting a second pair of glasses with a prescription measured for your computer work.

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Author: Dotun Obatuyi

My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.