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Computers causing eye discomfort? Learn more here.

computer eyestrain

With computer screens becoming a significant part of many occupations and recreational activities, screen-related eye problems have been on the rise.  The most common symptoms include burning, dryness, eye fatigue, and eye strain.

One important factor contributing to these symptoms is dryness of the surface of the eyes.  The ocular surface is easily disrupted by exposure to ambient air. Normally, we blink approximately 15 times in one minute.  However, during screen time, we blink about half as often.  This leads to dryness causing burning, painful, or tired eyes.

Another important factor is performing extended near work.  To focus at a close point, the eye must accommodate and extended accommodation may strain the eyes.

You can reduce symptoms by keeping the eyes lubricated with artificial tears. Keep fans pointed away from the face.  Sit approximately 2 feet from the computer screen with the center of the screen a few inches lower than your eyes.  Also, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule.  This means every 20 minutes, take a break and focus your vision on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

You can learn more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology here.  An interesting article regarding this topic appeared in The New York Times and can be viewed here.