Now, I wouldn't call myself a computer nerd - I can barely log onto my work computer while at home (security and internet connectivity and all that jazz). Don't get me wrong though, I can find a shoe sale online at DSW like it is nobody's business. Really though, I spend all day all day at my desk working (looking at the computer). I then take a break to check my email (looking at the computer) or to surf the web for some new shoes (looking at the computer). I can go home at night and read my favorite blogs (looking at the computer) or watch the tv show that I missed the night before (looking at the computer). I even prefer to read the news online so that I do not need to see all of the quite frightening videos of murders 5 miles away.
I am not alone. Most of my peers seem to spend all day on the computers only to go home and spend some more time. What is average? 8? 10 hours a day looking at a screen? We joke about how bad this is for our eyes, but what really is the effect? (I am guessing you are one of them if you are online reading this blog)
According to vision works, frequent computer users are at risk for vision stress, glucoma, and short-sitedness. To overall summarize? yes, you can have issues from staring at your screen all day and night. Is there something you can do about it? YES!
How to minimize the wear and tear on your eye balls from staring at a computer screen:
(1) Blink more often. Yes, this sounds really dumb, but people who stare at a computer blink less often than normal (I am very concious of my eye blinking at the moment). The lubercation of blinking helps keep your eyes from getting dry and irritated. Dry eyes from staring at the screen? get some visine!
(2) Take breaks. This is good for productivity anyways. Go get coffee. Go talk to a coworker. STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Hey, good reason to take a much deserved break huh?
(3) Adjust your brightness and contrast of the screen. If the screen is too bright you are asking to hurt your eyes. If it is too dark? you may make your eyes work harder than needed. Try to read black font on a white background when possible (like my blog!). If the background is too busy? you my be wearing out your eyes.
(4) Minimize glare. Glare from a window or wall can really wear out your eyes. Whenever possible, angle your computer to avoid this added eye-stressor.
(5) Try eye exercises. Do they work? maybe. Would I tell my friends I was trying them? probably not. Between us, here is a site that will give you detailed instructions.
(6) Consider corrective eyewear. Or just increase the side of the font on the screen. Either way, try to reduce the amount of work your eyes have to do. They even have those super stylish classes!
No matter what you do, you should get your eyes examed. I am not the best example since I absolutely LOATH going to the eye doctor and having them blow that air into my eyes. (Once they even had to tape my eyes open). Vision is so important and a sense that I would NEVER want to lose.