Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Computer Eye Strain: How to Relieve It

Source: Dr. Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac., http://www.visionworksusa.com

Computers & Vision
More than 50 percent of computer users experience eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and other visual symptoms related to sustained use of the computer. This type of stress on the visual system can also cause body fatigue and reduced efficiency at work. In addition, there are now indications that heavy computer users are at risk for glaucoma.

Many of these symptoms can be reduced through a combination of correcting workstation conditions, posture, stress-relieving lenses prescribed specifically for computer operation, special anti-glare screens, eye exercises and nutritional supplementation.

Many computer users experience visual stress due to: 1) an increase in the number and complexity of necessary eye movements and focusing skills, 2) poor lighting conditions, glare and distracting reflections, 3) screen flicker rate, and 4) above all, the extended amount of computer use.

Computer Stress Checklist
Computer visual stress may underlie many direct and indirect symptoms. Eyestrain is a common direct symptom, while the need for shifts in posture and muscular strain resulting from poorly arranged work stations cause eye problems indirectly and other physical problems directly.

Direct Computer Stress Symptoms
- headaches while doing or following computer use
- irritated and/or dry eyes
- blurred vision
- slow refocusing when looking from screen to distance objects
- frequently losing place when moving eyes between copy and the screen
- difficulty seeing clearly at a distance after prolonged computer use
- occasional doubling of vision
- changes in color perception
- changes in glasses prescription

Relaxing Eye Exercises
You can watch this short video demonstration (2min 30 secs) to see 3 simple eye exercises you can do at your desk.

Due to the unique characteristics and high visual demands of computer work, computer users should have a comprehensive eye examination periodically.

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