Working in front of a computer, whether you wear glasses already or not, still does damage to your eyes. It has been observed that if you spend more than 4 hours a day at a computer you are more likely to suffer from stress, headaches, strained eyes and a decline in eyesight.
There are no known effects directly from being near a computer that does any damage, it is more the action of staring at a screen for extended periods of time where the problems start. Symptoms of eye-strain include blurriness, mild headaches and an ache around the eye. It is not just extended periods in front of a computer that can lead to this. Reading something very close up, working in dark conditions or glare from lighting can all lead to eye-strain.
Office environments can often combine these scenarios; it is important to be aware of them so you can inform your employer or change them yourself. Eye-strain will not cause permanent damage, however, if left over a long period of time, the muscles that make the lens in your eye work will become weakened. If you do not change your working environment, this could lead you to requiring corrective glasses.
In order to avoid such a situation, adjust your working environment. Make sure that your monitor, desk and chair are set at comfortable heights – you shouldn’t have to look up or down to see your screen. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. It is good to get up and have a little stretch and walk around. Also, eye drops may help, as this will keep your eye moist and refreshed. Polarized eyewear can also help cut down the refractions from the screen light and make it more pleasant to look at, but they are usually tinted, so perhaps get used to the idea of using your computer whilst wearing Oakley sunglasses! Finally, get an appointment with an optician. They will examine the over-all health of your eye as well as whether you may need corrective glasses. Even if you have 20:20 vision, visiting the opticians is recommended at least every two years.
Check with your employer; many companies run schemes where they will pay for your appointment with the optician. Also, they may have schemes for ensuring your working environment meets the required ergonomic standards. This will help your joints, spine and posture as well as your eyes.
We spend so much time in front of a computer or TV; it would be good to give ourselves a break. In fact, as I sit here in front of my computer, contemplating the irony of writing this article, I am looking up the number of my nearest optician.…Continue reading »