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You’re Hurting Your Eyes When You’re Staring At This Screen. Here’s What To Do…

You’re Hurting Your Eyes When You’re Staring At This Screen. Here’s What To Do…

Unless you’re taking the proper steps to protect yourself, you’re hurting your eyes just by reading this article. Indeed, the bluish light pouring out of your screen has several adverse effects. It strains your eyes, keeps you awake at night thanks to its role in inhibiting melatonin productionand increases your risk of acquiring certain diseases. What can you do to protect yourself from the glowing flat panels that seem to dominate our modern lives? Read on …

1. Get your eyes checked to see what damage has already been done.

Of course, you’ll want to see how much damage you’ve already done to your eyes first, or else all of these other precautions won’t really help you much. If your eyes have already been adversely affected by a computer screen, an eye exam might allow your doctor to figure out any issues and fix them before they get worse.

2. Throw out your old CRT displays to reduce flicker.

Your ancient CRT monitor is a thing of the distant past. Not only are they bulky and unsightly, but they are more prone to annoying flickering and are generally lower resolution than LCD displays, both of which are detrimental to your eyes’ health. I suggest checking out a website like newegg.com, as they often have great deals on monitors, and, unlike Amazon, reviews are done mostly by tech geeks so you know what you’re getting is good. Always go with the largest screen with the best resolution you can afford.

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3. Buy matte screens when possible to get rid of screen reflections.

Many displays have reflective surfaces. If you want to protect your eyes, the less glare the better, and that means matte (non-reflective) screens are the way to go. If you do have a reflective screen, try editing its brightness and contrast settings, or closing window shades and turning off lights in your room to ensure that unnecessary photons aren’t being beamed straight into your retinas.

4. Use LCD wipes to clean the grime off your screen.

A dirty screen will only make it harder to see what you need to see, and furthermore it can add to the amount of glare you’re experiencing as well. LCD wipes will get rid of the smudges, dust, and other imperfections that can distract your eyes from the content on the screen.

5. Keep screens at least an arm’s length away to reduce eye strain.

First, do what’s called the “high-five test.” If you can’t extend your arm fully without knocking your screen over, then you’re sitting too close to your screen. Keeping your panel at arm’s length and a bit below eye-level will ensure a proper viewing experience.

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6. Blink to keep your eyes from drying out.

People tend to forget about blinking while entranced by the bright light of an LCD screen. The last thing you need is dry eyes on top of all of the other irritation caused by prolonged computer use.

7. Taking a break gives your eyes a chance to recover.

There’s this thing known as the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look way for your screen and focus your gaze on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. That will sort of reset your vision, reducing the strain caused by staring at your screen for hours on end.

Additionally, there’s a nifty little web application called “Protect Your Vision” that will allow you to keep track of exactly when you should be resting your eyes, you can find here. Using it should be pretty straightforward, but in case you need further assistance, this page has thorough instructions.

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8. Anti-glare glasses eradicate harmful blue light.

As I type this I’m wearing a pair of anti-glare glasses. They aren’t the most stylish accessories ever, but their yellow-tinged lenses do a great job of cutting down the glare and blue light of most LCD screens. I notice a clear difference when wearing mine; without them, there’s always a slight glow emanating from the edges of screens, with them, that aura disappears and everything appears far more matte, almost e-ink-esque.

9. Alternate fonts reduce blurriness.

Fonts like Times New Roman can be hard to read, what with all of its fancy serif-infused letters. Other fonts, like Arial, are a bit less tiring to read because of their more streamlined, no-frills nature.

10. Filters and dark backgrounds help reduce glare.

White backgrounds create a lot of glare, especially when you’re viewing them in a dark environment. You can use gray or other darker backgrounds instead, or wear the glasses cited in #8. Alternatively, you can buy an anti-glare filter, which is manually placed over your existing screen. These filters will cut down on glare, as their name would suggest, though your image quality might not be as good since you’re basically placing a mesh of sorts over your screen.

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To close, I think the key point to take away here is that you should use your computer in moderation, and when that isn’t possible, try and utilize the above suggestions as best you can. Be sure to take advantage of these tips now so that you can maintain that 20/20 vision in the future!

Featured photo credit: Eye macro/ Micky** via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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