Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Impact of Computers on Eye Health

Majority of the jobs nowadays require use of computers and having knowledge of computers is a must in order to sustain in the job market. Whether it be online trading, just data, or software programming, working on the computers for prolonged periods of time puts a lot of strain on our eyes. In fact, eye complains related to computer use has been on a steady rise in the United States and also all around the world.

Studies estimate that more than 50% of people who sit in front of the computer for a long period of time suffer from some form of eye problem or the other. The problems can range from fatiguing of the eyes along with mental and physical fatigue, which tends to affect the efficiency of the worker to certain eye symptoms like twitching of the eyes and eye redness.

In this article, we briefly discuss about various steps that one can take to protect the eye while staring at the computer screen all day.

7 Best Ways To Protect Eyes While Staring At The Computer All Day

7 Best Ways To Protect Eyes While Staring At The Computer All Day

Some of the easy ways to protect the eyes from getting strained due to long period of time spent in front of the computer screen are:

#1. Distance: The distance between the computer screen and the eye is an important factor in preventing strain to the eye when working on computer all day. The normal distance which is considered safe for computer users is about an arm’s length of distance between the eye and the computer screen. You can measure this by trying to touch the computer screen with your hands. If you are able to touch it then the distance needs to be increased by about an inch or so for it to be safe for your eyes.

#2. Location of the Screen: In order to keep the eyes safe from looking at the computer screen, it should be located about 6 inches below the eye level. The ideal scenario is looking down at the computer screen at an angle of approximately 20 degrees instead of up. By doing this, the sensitive eyeball is covered by the eyelid which protects it and keeps the eyes moist and safe.

#3. Positioning of Reference Materials: In case if you are using some paper or other material that needs to be looked at frequently then the positioning of that material is quite important to prevent any straining of the eyes, because you will be looking both at the reference material as well as the computer screen simultaneously. If the material is kept very low like in your lap then the eyes will have to refocus every time you look at them causing early fatiguing of the eye. It may also cause neck strain as well. Thus, it is important to keep the reference material just above the keyboard or below the monitor so that the eyes are not strained due to continuous repositioning and refocusing of the eyes.

#4. Eye Blinking: Blinking of the eyes plays a very important role in keeping the eyes healthy. Under normal circumstances, an individual blinks about 15-20 times in a minute. This needs to increase by about 10-15% when you have to stare at the computer monitor for prolonged periods of time, as this provides the eyes the significant rest that it needs from prolonged staring at the computer screen. In case if you feel that your eyes are not blinking enough then you may resort to deliberate blinking so as to keep the eyes moist and healthy despite looking at the computer screen for prolonged periods of time.

#5. Frequent Breaks: Try and take a break for a few a minutes about every hour of working on a computer to give the eyes some rest. You can just sit on your workstation and close the eyes for some time to give it rest or you can move around the room or have a cup of coffee and then return back to work. This will give the eyes enough rest and not strain the eyes due to staring at the computer screen all day.

#6. Screen Lighting: This also is an important aspect when it comes to preventing the eye from any sort of strain due to looking at the computer screen for prolonged periods of time. The brightness of the screen should be in relationship with the lighting of the environment. If the lights above the workstation and around you are very bright then it would do a lot of good to your eyes if you increase the brightness of the monitor by a few notches, so that the lights reflected from the screen do not put strain on the eyes. In the same sense if the room is dimly lit then you can increase the brightness of the monitor so as to avoid any strain to the eyes because of the light reflected off the screen of the computer.

If the brightness of the computer is not proper you will come to know as you will have to strain to look at the computer screen. This is a good enough to tell you that you need to change the settings of the monitor to avoid any strain to the eye as a result of prolonged staring at the computer screen.

#7. Specialized Glasses or Spectacles: You can also use specialized glasses that can be obtained through an ophthalmologist so as to protect the eyes from the constant glare of the computer screen. You can also put anti-glare screens above the monitor so as to protect the eyes from being strained while looking at the Computer Screen while at work.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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