It seems that we use computers just about everywhere these days. Most of us spend a large part of our day squinting at a monitor, be it at work, home, or university. With more and more of our shopping and entertainment being driven by the Internet, the time we spend on the computer is only likely to increase.
For many people, this is not likely to pose a problem but for people that spend more than two hours at a computer each day it is likely that they will experience symptoms of CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome. The most common symptoms include headaches, focusing difficulties, burning eyes, tired eyes, general eyestrain, aching eyes, dry eyes, double vision, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and can certainly reduce a person’s productivity. The good news is that it is relatively simple to ease these symptoms. Many of these vision problems can be caused by medical conditions like astigmatism or presbyopia but in many cases they are caused by the way you use your computer.
If you are not a glasses wearer, simple changes like ensuring your computer screen is clean, correctly positioned, and set up correctly will make significant differences. And if you are a glasses wearer then the ensuring your glasses lenses are clean and smear free will help to reduce glare and reflections.
Furthermore, by law employers must ensure that your workplace and equipment do not put your health at risk, so talk to them if you have any problems or special requirements regarding your vision. If you use a computer for a significant length of time at work or while studying, your employer or the NHS, respectively, should pay for your regular eye examinations. If you are found to need glasses or contact lenses to use a computer, your employer is legally required to pay for these. Full-time students 18 years and under will be covered under the NHS.
If symptoms such as headaches persist, you should always consult your optician or doctor for their advice. It may be the case that a simple change in prescription is all that is needed to cure these symptoms. Of course, these symptoms could also be a sign of a more serious condition, so get them checked! If you are like us and are always looking for something for nothing, why not keep an eye on our Blog as we regularly let our customers know when and where you can get a cheap or perhaps even free eye test at leading high street opticians.
1). Adequate Lighting
Proper lighting can reduce eyestrain and glare. Glare is created by glare on walls and other surfaces, reflections from the computer screen, bright light coming in from outside, and bright light inside. To decrease light and reflections from external light, close drapes or blinds. When using computers, lighting should be about half of that used in most offices. Using fewer light bulbs or florescent bulbs or use lower intensity bulbs can reduce glare caused by overhead lighting.
2). Work Environment
Temperature and humidity or poor ventilation all contribute to headaches and dry eyes so ensure your working environment is comfortable.
3). Workstation/Monitor Placement
By modifying your work area, you can reduce eyestrain and other effects of CVS. If you need to look back and forth between the printed or written page and the computer, eyestrain can occur. Place written pages on a copy stand next to the monitor. Properly light the copy stand. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height. Purchase ergonomic furniture to assure proper screen locations and posture. Poor ergonomic setup is a cause of head, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
Place your monitor directly in front of you, not off to one side. It should be about 20 to 26 inches away from you. Make sure your monitor is just right for you, not too high and not too low. You may need to raise or lower your chair. If you reposition your chair, keep in mind that your arms should be parallel to the floor when you type, and your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footstool. Finally, maintain good posture at your desk: keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Adjust the contrast between the background and the characters on the screen by adjusting the brightness on your computer screen.
4). Correct Monitor Setup
Proper setup of your monitor will dramatically improve the comfort on your eyes; this setup process is simply done by adjusting the contrast and brightness settings of your monitor. If you are using an older CRT monitor that suffers from screen flicker, consider upgrading to a newer TFT screen as these tend to be easier on the eye.
5). Take Regular Breaks
Take regular breaks away from the screen for 10-15 minutes every hour to avoid eye fatigue, perfect time to grab a cup of tea or coffee! Your eyes make more than 10 thousand movements an hour when looking at a computer, so they will naturally get tired. We also tend to blink less frequently when staring at a screen, which will cause our eyes to feel dry. To help neutralize dryness and fatigue, try looking away from the screen for approximately one minute out of ten, looking around the room or preferably out of a window.
How SelectSpecs can help you beat eyestrain
To help combat eyestrain caused by using computer screens we offer a free anti-reflective coating on your lenses to eliminate surface reflections. This increases the light transmission through the lenses and provides you with clear, defined vision day or night. Any optician would advise you to incorporate an anti-reflective coating for computer use and night-time driving. The coating has stylistic benefits as well, as the lenses tend to appear thin and almost non-existent, making your eyes look more natural.
If you require a pair of glasses for you computer work in the office, why not check out our Budget or Premier ranges, having a spare pair of cheap glasses kept at your desk will mean you can continue to ensure eyestrain is kept to a reduced level.