HOW COMPUTER USE AFFECTS EYE HEALTH

Dr. Jim Martin 09/05/2013

woman-working-on-tablet.pngThese days, we always seem to be playing on our smart phones or staring at the computer or iPad. This begs the question: Is working on the computer or my phone hurting my eyes? A recent national survey of optometrists found that 14% of patients with symptoms of eyestrain and other vision problems were related to high levels of computer work. So the answer to the above question is yes, working on the computer can hurt your eyes. The reason for this is your computer and work habits have to be customized to support your eye health.

Can Using a Computer Hurt My Eyes?

Americans spend 4 to 6 hours a day in front of a screen. That statistic comes with some hard truths; 84% of the participants surveyed admit to being more dependent on their computer than they were 3 years ago and 65% admit they spend more time in front of their computer than with their spouse. Even when we are off the clock, we are on the computer. People spend nearly 12 hours a month fixing computer problems.

What’s the result of our addiction to and dependence upon technology? Blurred vision, dry eye syndrome, eye fatigue, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain are just a few of the consequences. These are the tell-tale signs that your computer use is bad for your eyes.

What you may not realize is the level of concentration you devote to your screen time slows down the function of your eye. This means you don’t alter your focal point or blink as often. It’s a staring contest that nobody wins. It’s a staring contest that strains and dries out your eyes. These habits will have a lasting effect on your vision health if you do not take deliberate steps to break them.

How Can I Adjust My Computer to be Easier on my Eyes?

Task-oriented experts spend a lot of time endorsing time blocking. The act of dedicating time in your schedule to certain tasks. Eye doctors have started to advocate the same practice, but for a different reason entirely: your vision.

People should not spend more than 30 consecutive minutes at a time in front of a computer screen. By the time 30 minutes is up, your eyes are ready to focus on something else. Allow time for that in your schedule. Do some vision strengthening eye exercises, take breaks to blink, use moisturizing eye drops, or move on to a non-computer task. Dividing your day like this reduces your level or eye strain and stress overall.

Also, insuring your workstation is set up properly does wonders. The right lighting, workstation proximity, and screen settings can save your eyes from pain and suffering.

If you believe your computer habits are negatively affecting your eyesight, contact the eye care professionals at Broome Optical in Amarillo, Texas. Whether you require a reassessment of your daily habits, need treatment such as prescription eye drops or special computer eyewear, one of our knowledgeable specialists can help.

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