Did you know there’s a thing called computer vision syndrome, and it affects 50 to 90 percent of computer users? Symptoms include eye strain, eye twitching, red or dry eyes, fatigue, headaches, more work errors and a decrease in productivity. How do you keep healthy eyes during computer use?
If you experience any of these problems while looking at your computer, see an eye doctor. A doctor can make sure if your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is correct. Or if you don’t have corrective lenses they can prescribe some for you.
I have bad vision and own special pair of glasses prescribed just for the right distance to a computer screen—about arm’s length. These special glasses make all the difference. If I didn’t have these eyeglasses, I would need to tilt my regular glasses or move them farther down my nose to see the computer screen without blurring.
AllAboutVision.com has an article Computer Eye Strain: 10 Tips for relief.That site’s No. 1 tip is to get a comprehensive eye examination once a year.
“During your exam, be sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at work and at home,” the article states. “Measure how far your eyes are from your screen when you sit at your computer, and bring this measurement to your exam so your eye doctor can test your eyes at that specific working distance.”
The AllAboutVision article references a study of studies about contact lenses that says wearers have more computer vision problems.
All six [studies] revealed that contact lens wearers were more likely to have computer vision syndrome symptoms than individuals who wore eyeglasses only or did not need corrective lenses. Prevalence of symptoms ranged from 17 to 95 percent among contact lens wearers and 10 to 58 percent among non-wearers. Also, contact lens wearers were four times more likely to have dry eyes during or after computer use, compared with non-wearers.
One thing contact wearers can do is to wear regular eyeglasses during heavy computer use and then, after work or when they’re done using the computer put in their contacts. After all, the only ones who will see you with your glasses on are your co-workers!
But people can have problems with their eyes or fatigue even when they don’t have glasses or contacts.
Other tips from AllAboutVision on reducing computer vision syndrome, for anyone, not just those who wear corrective lenses, include:
TheNextWeb.com also has an article with 10 tips for reducing computer vision syndrome. One of their tips is to position the computer screen so the center of it is about 9 inches below your line of sight. Also, if you can touch your monitor screen, you’re sitting too close.
The last time I had an eye exam, my doctor told me you can’t hurt your eyes from using them. I guess he meant under normal circumstances. In the history of humanity, looking at a computer screen eight hours or more per day is not normal. Humans evolved to moving around and looking around at many distances every day.
As we said in this Viter Energy blog  about the work-life balance, it's a good idea to simulate your commute to work. You don't have to drive in to work, so instead take a walk around the block just before your workday starts and just after it ends. Send yourself a psychological signal.
And if you can avoid it, do not work after your walk around the block. Don't check work email. Don't answer calls from co-workers unless you really need to talk to them (or they are friends you socialize with).
Clinical psychologist Kelcey Stratton of Michigan Health Blog  has some sound advice on finding the right time to work:
If you’re a morning person, try to schedule important work and meetings during the first half of the day. Others may peak with energy in the afternoon. Depending on the type of job you have, try to maximize on these levels as you can.
The first bit of advice is to get up from the computer, turn off your phone, and go get some exercise, do something recreational, prepare a meal, or something other than work, on the same schedule as you did when you worked at the brick-and-mortar office.
If you used to get off at 5 p.m., quit working at home at 5. You might need to check email or prepare a report later that night, but be sure to get away from all electronic communications and computing devices for a while.
Another big tip is to take your coffee breaks and lunch breaks on the same schedule, or at least be sure to take them at some point. Do not skip your favorite part of the day!