Long Hours Working at a Computer Can Affect Your Vision

Spending all day staring at a computer monitor can do more than make you ready to call it a day; it can also lead to eye strain and other potential vision problems.
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Louisville - Kentucky - US

Feb. 18, 2009 - PRLog -- Louisville, KY - Spending all day staring at a computer monitor can do more than make you ready to call it a day; it can also lead to eye strain and other potential vision problems. According to Dr. Britt Brockman, a cataract and refractive specialist at the John-Kenyon American Eye Institute, between 50 and 90 percent of computer workers suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).  Symptoms for the condition include eye strain, fatigue, blurry vision, dry irritated eyes and light sensitivity.

CVS symptoms are primarily caused by glare from surrounding lamps and lights, reflections from monitors and glasses, and dry eyes. You may not be able to stop working in front of a computer, here are 10 steps Dr. Brockman recommends to take to lessen eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS).

1.  Get a computer eye exam.
According to the National institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer users should have an eye exam before they start working full time on a computer and once yearly thereafter.  Your eye doctor can detect signs of dry eye that may worsen after long hours at the computer.  They can also prescribe computer eye glasses.

2.  Use proper lighting
When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half that found in most offices.  If possible, position your monitor so that windows are to the side of it, instead of in front or back.

3.  Minimize glare
Install an anti-glare screen on you monitor.  If you wear glasses, have an anti-reflective (AR) coating applied to your lenses.

4.  Upgrade your display monitor
Replace your old CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD).  LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface.  Choose a relatively large display (at least a 19 inch diagonal screen for a desk top).

5.  Adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor screen
Adjust the screen settings to make sure the contrast between the screen background and the on-screen characters is high.  And make sure that the text size and color are optimized for the most comfort.

6. Blink more
People blink about 5 times less often while working at a computer.  This can lead to a condition called dry eyes .  If you experience dry eye symptoms like irritation, redness, blurriness or a heavy or tired feeling in your eyes, then ask your eye doctor about artificial tears for daily use.  Do not use drops that only “get the red out” as they may not reduce dryness.  Ask your eye doctor about using fish oil, flax seed oil and/or omega 3 fatty acids by mouth which can help with dry eye.  Finally, when your eyes feel dry blink several times to rewet them.

7.  Exercise your eyes
Every 20 minutes look away from your computer, for 10-15 seconds, at a distant object which relaxes the focusing muscles inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

8.  Take frequent breaks
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that discomfort and eye strain were significantly lower when computer workers took four additional five-minute “mini-breaks” throughout their work day.  These additional breaks did not reduce workers’ productivity.  In fact, data entry speed was actually faster as a result of the extra breaks and work output was maintained.

9. Modify your workstation
The tip of your monitor screen should be at eye level.  The ideal gaze angle is 10 -20 degrees below the eye.  A high screen gives rise to dry eyes because it forces you to keep your eyes wide open and blink less frequently.

10.  Computer eyewear
For the greatest comfort at your computer, you may benefit from having customized eyeglasses prescribed for your computer work.  Computer glasses are also a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because they generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer.

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John-Kenyon American Eye Institute has been a trusted provider of eye care and eye surgery in the Louisville area for more than 30 years. With five highly-trained and skilled surgeons, three top-notch optometrists and the latest in surgical technology, John-Kenyon American Eye Institute is committed to the highest in quality patient care. For more information, visit www.johnkenyon.com
Source:John-Kenyon American Eye Institute
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Tags:Vision, Louisville, Eyecare, Cataract, Lasik
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Location:Louisville - Kentucky - United States
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