Computer monitor eye strain can be a big problem if you spend a lot of time at a computer. It can prevent you from getting work done and can even affect your life outside of work by causing headaches and vision problems. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
How To Recognize Eye Strain Problems
You are considered at risk if you spend two or more hours a day in front of a computer screen. Some studies indicate that as many as 90% of computer users experience some degree of computer eye strain. Symptoms include double vision, dry eyes, difficulty focusing, headaches, neck and back aches and temporary nearsightedness.
What You Can Do About It
Get Your Eyes Checked: Though you, regardless of your occupation, should have your eyes checked at least every two years, if your job requires you to spend an inordinate amount of time staring at a computer screen, that is not often enough. Getting your eyes checked every year can guarantee that, if you have glasses, you have the proper prescription, and your muscles are not over exerting themselves.
Reduce Glare: Oftentimes, it is not actually the light emitted from the computer screen that causes the strain but rather the light reflecting off it and other surfaces. It may benefit you to rearrange your work space so that you experience as little glare as possible. Also try to minimize bright or direct light in your workspace.
Upgrade Your Monitor: Older monitors tend to flicker more than LCD displays, making them much harder on your eyes. There is no better way you can reduce your eye strain than by purchasing a new, preferably LCD, monitor. LCD monitors also usually come with anti-reflective coatings that prevent excessive ambient light from bouncing off your screen and wreaking havoc on your eye muscles.
Adjust Your Default Text Size: By making the characters on your screen larger, you will reduce the need to strain and focus on them. Since the objects on your screen are not solid figures but rather images created by pixels, the human eye already has difficulty focusing on them. By making them bigger, you can help your eyes out significantly.
Take Breaks: No matter how many of the above precautions you take, it is possible that, simply by virtue of staring at your monitor for hours on end, you will experience computer eye strain. By taking short breaks every 30 to 60 minutes, you can allow your muscles to relax and cut down on eye strain. Even just taking a few seconds every so often to stare at an object against the wall or down the hall can help.
Computer eye strain is a serious problem, and as reliance on computers grows and children begin using them at younger and younger ages, it is only going to get worse. Make sure you and your family take every precaution possible to help prevent it so you can improve your quality of life now, and decrease your chances of more serious eye problems later in life.
What is a CRT monitor? Cathode ray tube technology used to be the standard for televisions and displays, and some users still prefer them to LCD monitors.
What does "LCD" stand for? These initials stand for "liquid crystal display," which helps to explain how an LCD screen functions.