Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

You spend too much time in front of a screen. We all do. Here are some things you need to know (stolen from Carrie Schmitz at the Ergotron blog). First I am going to give you the list of things you need to know followed by a list of things you can do to prevent damage to your vision.

Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision

1. Staring at a computer screen results in nearly 60% reduction in blink rate leading to dry, irritated eyes blurred vision and headaches.

2. Computers are particularly hard on the eyes of contact lens users.

3. Myopic (near-sighted people who can’t see distant objects as clearly as close ones) who spend more than eight hours a day in front of a computer are 82% more likely to develop glaucoma along with symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

4. Increased fluid pressure within the eye can compress optic nerves, which causes glaucoma leading to blindness if not treated. One of the major symptoms of glaucoma is blurred vision.

5. Research shows that computer use increases near-sightedness (myopia).

6. As you age, the ability of your eyes to focus and stay lubricated diminishes, putting you at higher risk for CVS.

7. Children generally tend to be less self-aware than adults and will often ignore feelings of discomfort when using a computer.

Seven Ways to Protect Your Vision (and the vision of the children in your life) While Using a Computer

1. Position your monitor to minimize eye and body strain:

· Distance: at least an arm’s length away from face.

· Height: the middle of the screen should be 20-30 degrees below eye level.

· Angle: tilt the screen to prevent glare from strong light or surrounding surfaces.

· Orientation: monitor should be directly in front you.

2. Practice Dr. Anshel’s 20/20/20 rule: every twenty minutes turn your eyes away from the computer and focus on an object about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.

3. You can install software that regulates blinking and keeps eye muscles fit.

4. Use over-the-counter tear substitutes to lubricate eyes.

5. Get your eyes examined every year.

6. Consider computer glasses – some are tinted to counteract florescent light; some increase the humidity on the ocular surface to increase comfort and prevent long-term damage.

7. Full color monitors are preferable; a display setting with black letters on white background is most comfortable; increase font size on computer screen to fight squinting.

2 thoughts on “Seven Things You Should Know About Computer Use and Vision”

  1. Steve, your article is really timely for me. I spend 8 hours a day on the computer and have done so for years. I had no idea that glaucoma could result from so much computer screen exposure. I haven’t had an eye exam for 4 years. I will definitely schedule one right away.

  2. Black letters on white background? For me it’s the reverse. That white background makes me squint and feel like wearing sunglasses.

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