The world around is is geting more and more digitised and much of modern technology uses electronic light punched directly at the eye from a multitude of different screens. These include various digital displays in stores, cities, airports, laptops, mobile phones, electonic banners, schools and home TV screens.
The result of this digital assault on our eyes can result in ‘eye strain’ which can lead to dry, scratchy, itchy eyes, head-aches, red-eyes, dizziness and even lack of sleep.
Here is part 1 of 10 easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome. We welcome your feedback in this regard.
- Get a comprehensive eye exam.
Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. If you haven’t had an eye exam in over a year, book an appintment today.
During your exam, be sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer and digital devices at work and at home. 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.
- Use proper lighting.
Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or use lower intensity bulbs and tubes. Also, if possible, position your computer screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.
Many computer users find their eyes feel better if they can avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights. If possible, turn off the overhead fluorescent lights in your office and use floor lamps that provide indirect “soft white” LED lighting instead.
Sometimes switching to “full spectrum” fluorescent lighting that more closely approximates the light spectrum emitted by sunlight can be more comforting for computer work than regular fluorescent tubes. But even full spectrum lighting can cause discomfort if it’s too bright.
Try reducing the number of fluorescent tubes installed above your computer workspace if you are bothered by overhead lighting.
- Minimize glare.
Glare from light reflecting off walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your display and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish.
If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.
- Upgrade your display.
If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel LED (light-emitting diode) screen with an anti-reflective surface. Old-fashioned CRT screens can cause a noticeable “flicker” of images, which is a major cause of computer eye strain. Even if this flicker is imperceptible, it still can contribute to eye strain and fatigue during computer work.
Complications due to flicker are even more likely if the refresh rate of the monitor is less than 75 hertz (Hz). If you must use a CRT at work, adjust the display settings to the highest possible refresh rate.
When choosing a new flat panel display, select a screen with the highest resolution possible. Resolution is related to the “dot pitch” of the display. Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.
Also, choose a relatively large display. For a desktop computer, select a display that has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.
- Adjust your computer display settings.
Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:
- Brightness: Adjust the brightness of the display so it’s approximately
the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
- Text size and contrast: Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when reading or composing long documents. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.
- Color temperature: This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort.
Next week, we’ll post a second article with more helpful tips
Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.
For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:
Specs Direct | Professional Affordable Eyewear
20 McIntyre Street, Parow, Cape Town 7500
Tel: 021 939 1020
Note: We are contracted to most medical aids