Stare at a Computer All Day – 5 Tips to Protect Your Eyes
With exponential advances to technology, it’s only expected that Generation Y is both privileged and predestined to be staring at digital screens the majority of the day. If you’re like the majority of the modern day working class who works on a computer for 8 hours only to come home to another screen, you are most likely a victim of eyestrain. Eyestrain is simply your eyes getting tired from extended intense use, most commonly from staring at a pixilated screen for too long.
Thankfully eyestrain typically isn’t a permanent issue; however to avoid discomfort and potential more serious issues in the future, all it takes are some minor adjustments to your daily routine to help give your eyes a break.
Tip 1: Our first tip is more common sense than anything; don’t forget to simply give your eyes a break and close them for 10-15 seconds every once in a while. While you’re at it, every 10 to 15 minutes look at the world around you at something at least 10 feet away to exercise the eye muscles. If you’re stuck in a windowless cubicle, stand up, stretch, and make friends with the co-workers around you. If you need to talk to someone about something work related, go to their desk and ask them in person rather than through email.
Tip 2: Lessen the effects of the monitor on your eyes by keeping the brightness to a minimum. Keep the brightness of the screen to a level that resembles the brightness of non-digital objects you typically look at; in time it will become easier to read. You may want to set the contrast to about 80%.
Tip 3: Keep your distance from the monitor to about 20 inches if you can. This of course depends on your eyesight and screen size. It might be worth it to consider changing the text size as well. If you can, use your computer less as much as possible. Print out lengthy documents you’re trying to read and working to type faster are both ways to minimize computer staring time.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to keep your eyes lubricated and hydrated. Rest them for a couple minutes to build up some tears and use eye moisturizing drops if needed. If you wear glasses or contacts, use them as directed. Don’t forget to also drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day to keep them extra hydrated.
Tip 5: Be sure to make regular eye exams with your eye care professional. It’s important to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at home and work so they can evaluate the best precautionary measures for you to take. They can also make sure that what you think is eyestrain isn’t the beginning of a more serious issue.
These tips can help keep your eyes strong and help avoid the headaches staring at a computer all day can cause. You can use a computer, but be sure to always take a break. Your eyes will thank you, and your computer and work will still be there for you when you get back from your break. We promise.