eye strain

Computer Vision Syndrome, or computer eyestrain, can be caused by a variety of things. Most commonly it is a result of bad lighting and/or long hours. Since I’m getting a strain right now, how about we explore how was can prevent, or ease, eyestrain.

This [very well organized] list from The Lighting Blog provides 22 ideas to keep your eyes focused and reading right.

The first few are good to do even if your eyes are fine but want to keep your productivity up. Try taking a break.

1. Take a few minutes away from your computer, better yet your desk each hour.

2. If you can’t leave your desk, lean back, close your eyes and relax.

3. Segment auxiliary work tasks; use them to break up otherwise lengthy computer sessions.

4. Quickly revive yourself with a few easy stretches.

Good Lighting:

5. Overhead lighting and bright light emanating from behind your monitor are tough on the eyes. If you have the option, use table lamps off to either side of your work area.

6. If you are close to a sunny window, close or adjust the blinds so light does not fall directly onto your monitor.

7. Avoid working in a dark room. Your monitor will be like a bright beacon in the dark. Your eyes will have to struggle between the extremes of light and dark. If you must work in near dark conditions, try dimming the brightness of your monitor screen.

8. If you really mean to kick computer eye strain and want to properly light your home or office workspace, shop specifically for high-quality task lights that not only throw a measured degree and quality of light, but also reduce glare.

It turns out that the dryness of office space, coupled with the fact that you apparently blink only one third the normal amount while at the computer, can increase eyestrain too.

9. Natural plants in your workspace can increase humidity as well as control dust and other irritating particles.

10. Over the counter natural tear products are useful to relieve dry eyes, a main complaint among heavy computer users.

Maybe the problem lies in your monitor?

11. The CRT refresh rate may be custom calibrated to reduce the flicker, and in turn reduce the typical eye strain and fatigue associated with a low refresh rate.

As a rule, the higher the refresh rate, the better for your vision, although some sources report no noticeable difference above a certain range.

12. Invest in a flat screen model. Flat screens of any kind provide a much more graphically sound image than those on the old curved screens. Flat screen CRTs offer better refresh rates and a richer palette of contrast and color adjustments.

13. Invest in a laptop. If you are considering a laptop, the LCD monitors vary in size from a tiny 10” up to 19”. Regardless of the width of the screen these monitors deliver high definition graphics, deep color contrast and a well-worth-it range of adjustable settings. Compare and contrast pixel specifications to determine which will most suit your needs.

14. Configure your computer’s graphics settings for optimal visual comfort.

15. Font sizes may be adjusted for your comfort, as well. If you find yourself leaning forward to read the text on the screen then you should increase the point size of your font.

16. Optometrists recommend a computer monitor be somewhere between 20 and 30 inches from your eyes. The length of your arm, from shoulder to finger tips, should be just about right for measuring the distance between yourself and the monitor.

17. Anti-glare monitor shields and filters may be optical glass quality, polarized, and designed for CRT, flat panel or laptop monitors.

The right change for the right job:

18. Data Entry Professionals and Administrative Assistants typically convert data from documents to electronic databases. Document holders minimize eye-strain by keeping hard-copy documents vertical and at the same distance from your eyes as the monitor. Eyes that must constantly readjust for distance and position will tire and become sore much sooner.

19. Computer Programmers work intensively with complex computer languages heavy on symbols and intricate visual configurations. Some sources suggest more code-concise and visually friendly fonts for programmers such as Courier, New Courier and a slew of other customized fonts; some free, and some with a price tag.

20. Graphics/Web Designers should have a top of the line high definition monitor for intricate art and design work. Adjust your operating system to make it easy on the eyes. If you use Windows and have an LCD monitor enable ClearType.

Or maybe it’s just your damn eyes!

21. Get an eye exam. According to the American Optometric Association, adults up to age 40 should have an eye exam every three years; those aged 40 to 60, every two; and 60 plus, every year.

22. Computer Viewing Glasses, maybe? Perhaps you’ve heard or read about the glasses you can get to wear while working with your computer.

22 Ways to Reduce Eye Strain at Your Computer – [TheLightingBlog]

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