Hands up if you spend more than 7 hours a day at a computer. Thank you, you can put your hands down now. Most of us whether we’re at work, home, school, university or even while in transit will spend some of the time staring at the screens of our computers, laptops, Kindles, pads, phones and so on.
Technology really is a wonderful thing, despite what some may say. It gives us the ability to learn more and access information more readily, as well as keep in contact with old friends and connect with new ones who share the same passions; not to mention the joke and memes sites that you can always rely on to make time pass by more quickly.
In the words of Poison however, every rose has its thorn and the problem with all of these technologies is the detrimental, potentially devastating effect that spending so much time looking at screens can cause to your eyes. Almost anyone who has watched TV or used a PC will know the feeling your get when your eyes start to burn and sting as a result of too much screen use and whilst it is impossible to prevent, there are ways by which you can protect your eyes thereby delaying its onset.
Those who work with computers are in the most danger as the only option they have other than spending their days looking at a screen is looking for a new job, which will probably also be done whilst staring at a screen. Ensuring you retain good health however is in your interest as well as that of your employer, so you should consider implementing some of the following suggestions in an attempt to benefit you both.
1. Go Big Or Go Home: The focus required when reading small text on a screen causes the muscles in your eyes to tighten and strain. By increasing the font size of your work when proof reading, or by zooming in when reading an article, you can alleviate the additional stress placed on your eyes.
2. Have A KitKat: Around once an hour ensure you take a minute-long break. This doesn’t mean stop working and browse Facebook or 9gag for a few; actually turn off your screen and do not look at anyone else’s. You know what? Actually, try spending this time with your eyes closed and give your eyes some real quality relaxation.
3. The Blinky & The Pain: Whether you are playing video games, watching TV or working hard at the office, whenever you are using a screen you will blink less. In fact on average you will only blink once for every three times you normally would, which will quickly cause your eyes to become fatigued. As suggested in the previous point, do take screen breaks, but also make a conscious effort to blink more regularly, if possible.
4. Let There Be Light: If you are working in a dark room your eyes want to open wider and let in more light, this however is unnecessary as the light from the screen will seem augmented by the contrast. Your eyes will bounce between opening wider and becoming more narrow, which will wear out the muscles, in addition whilst they are opened wider more light will be getting in than is required, which can potentially cause severe damage your eyes.
5. Pretty In Print: At one time or another you will feel compelled to read an article or story online that whilst long is immensely captivating. This is great, nothing wrong with being mentally stimulated, but all that time spent focusing on your screen whilst reading will cause your eyes to blink (even) less and generally wear themselves out. You would be better off if you took the time to print it out, or found a way to gain access to a hardcopy; thereby sparing your eyes.
There are many other ways to look after your eyes, and if you do regularly feel your eyes straining it could be that your computer use is only one of several contributing factors. Other steps you can take to ensure your ocular-wellbeing would be going to visit an opticians yearly at the very least, wear sunglasses when it is sunny (and never indoors), sleep well and often, and lastly avoid accidentally spraying them with deodorant; it is extremely uncomfortable to say the least.