It's estimated that 70-percent of computer users suffer from computer eye strain. Hours in front of the monitor can cause dry, itchy, burning, tired eyes, not to mention headaches, fatigue and vision problems. In fact, the incidence of nearsightedness has increased dramatically since people started using computers.
The biggest problem is the amount of time we spend on our computers. But for many people, there simply isn't much they can do to reduce the number of hours at the computer. However there are lots of things we can do to ease the suffering we inflict upon ourselves in doing so.
Keep in mind kids suffer from it, too, but they are much less likely to complain. So parents need to make sure they get their kids' eyes screened at ages 3,6, 9 and 12.
First, make-over your work station. Bright lighting is an eye irritant. Your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as most offices. Position your monitor about 20 inches from your face and down about 20 degrees. Get a nice, sturdy, comfortable chair with arm rests and consider a footstool. If you have a window, position your computer so that the window is to the side, not in front or behind. Reduce glare by investing in a flat-screen monitor, and lower the window blinds.
Did you know that when we're on our computers we blink two to five times less frequently than normal? No wonder we get dry eyes! So figure out a way to remind yourself to blink! Some people like to post a little note on their monitor or they make a mental note to blink after typing every sentence or two. Aritificial tears are useful to combat dry eyes. You can put them in every hour or so. When putting drops in your eyes, place them in the outer corners, and close your eyes 15 seconds.
Employ the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your monitor and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will soothe and strengthen your eyes. And take frequent breaks. Get up from your work station and walk around as often as you can.
Finally, don't forget to take care of your overall health. A good diet, especially one rich in omega-3 fatty acids will improve your eye health. And get a good night's sleep. In addition to your nighttime rest, sometimes a little cat nap, or power nap is useful. Just closing your eyes and resting for 20 minutes or so restores nutrients to your eyes and leaves you feeling refreshed and leads to greater productivity.