Published: Aug. 13, 2010
Updated: Sept. 1, 2010
By Emily Mitchell
Between work, school, games, and social networking, people spend huge chunks of their day staring at computer screens.
While extended computer use may be the culprit for some health problems, degenerative eyesight is not one of them, according to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD.
According to Koury, computers and televisions do not emit radiation that can harm your eyes. She notes that the biggest eye problems people may face from extended computer use is eye strain, fatigue, and eye dryness.
To avoid eye strain, fatigue, and dryness, Koury recommends the following tips for people who spend long hours in front of a computer.
“Long hours of reading, whether on printed pages or on a computer can cause eye strain and fatigue, but nothing that rest and short breaks will not restore,” Koury says.
A five-minute break every hour that allows you to get up, walk around, and focus off into the distance is a great way to avoid eye fatigue.
Eye dryness is a frequent problem for people who read a lot. Concentrating on reading material causes your blink frequency to drop considerably.
The blinking action of the eyelid causes the glands to make tears, so when you blink infrequently, your eyes tend to get dry and uncomfortable.
The solution to this problem is to keep a supply of unpreserved artificial tears nearby whenever you are reading a lot, and dose yourself often enough to stay comfortable.
The way a person views a computer or their physical proximity to the computer can greatly affect a person’s vision. Ergonomics are especially important for people who wear bifocals.
Since the reading portion of these eyeglasses is the lower half of the lens, position your monitor as low as possible on your desk, allowing you to read the screen in a comfortable down-gaze position.
If you do feel your vision is diminishing, call your ophthalmologist and schedule your annual eye exam.