Healthy Computing: Prevent Vision Problems

After working at the computer, are your eyes irritated? If you answered
‘yes’, you are not alone. Between 33 to 37 percent of people who work at
the computer experience eye irritation. Computer vision syndrome includes
symptoms such as itching, burning or dry eyes. These symptoms are often
associated with computer work because our blinking rate is reduced by
about 70%. In addition, when looking straight ahead or upwards at the
monitor our eyes tear less, and the corneal surface dries as the humidity
in the air is decreased. Look to your health and PREVENT VISION PROBLEMS.


Observe your blinking rate while looking (or is it staring?) at the
monitor. Train yourself to gently blink at the end of every paragraph or
with every mouse click. Blink at least once or twice a minute.

Measure the height of the monitor. The top of the screen should be equal
to or lower than the height of your eyebrows. When you look slightly down,
your lids will usually sweep down the whole eyeball when you blink. This
moistens the cornea instead of only the upper eyeball, which is what
occurs when you are looking straight ahead or slightly up.

Check the humidity in the room. Often the humidity is less than 20% with
air conditioning and heating. Eyes dry out much more quickly when the
humidity is low, especially when you wear contacts. Bring moisture to
your office with a humidifier or plants. Plants not only increase
humidity, they also absorb irritating volatile organic chemicals and
encourage relaxation when we look at their green color.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for
personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing
Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written
consent of the copyright holders

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