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August 4th, 2012

August is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Computer Use and Eyestrain

Staring at your computer screen, smartphone, video game or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, but your eyes may feel dry and tired.

What causes computer eyestrain?

Normally, humans blink about 18 times a minute, but studies show we blink half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play.Extended reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eyestrain.

What to do:

  • Sit about 25 inches from the computer screen and position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
  • Reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly; use a screen filter if needed.
  • Post a note that says “Blink!” on the computer as a reminder.
  • Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds: the “20-20-20” rule.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
  • Take regular breaks from computer work, and try to get enough sleep at night.
  • If you have to be at your computer for a marathon work session, take regular rest breaks or “power naps,” if possible.
  • Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water to tired, dry eyes (with eyes closed).
  • Use tired or sore eyes as a signal that it’s time to stop working and get some rest or sleep.

 

 

2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology

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