Tell Your Computer Who’s Boss
This Month, “Save Your Vision”
Most of us work at a computer these days. Unfortunately, too much computer work can harm our vision. Computer-related vision problems are so common, the American Optometric Association has determined that many computer users suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Are you one of them?
CVS is comprised of eye and vision problems related to frequent and extensive computer use. Eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes and a stiff neck are some of the symptoms of CVS. The good news is, a few easy changes can help most issues.
This March, during Save Your Vision Month, simply take the following small steps for healthy computer vision:
Make smart screen adjustments.
The resolution, contrast and glare on your computer screen can wreak havoc on your eyes. You can prevent eye strain and squinting by adjusting your monitor for the highest resolution possible.
- Contrast is the difference in light and dark between the characters and the background—and intense contrast is alarming to your eyes. You should select a contrast that is a comfortable midpoint between bright and dark.
- Glare doesn’t help much, either. If overhead lights or nearby windows are causing glare and reflections that decrease your screen visibility, this can make your eyes tired. To reduce glare, use dimmer switches or window shades. You can also move your computer screen so it’s out of direct sunshine or bright lights.
It might sound silly, but while you’re busy concentrating on your computer task at hand, you may forget to blink. This can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated. “Artificial tear” eye drops can help—just be sure to choose the appropriate kind if you wear contact lenses. If you work from home, you may want to use a humidifier near your desk.
Back away from the computer.
Short, frequent breaks during computer tasks are important to relieve your eye stress. This is especially important if you’re intensely focused on a challenging task. Every 20–30 minutes, it’s important to get up and walk away. Also, allow your eyes to look into the distance (at least 20 feet away) to give them a rest from close-up work.
Check your prescription.
If you wear glasses (especially bifocals) or contact lenses, your prescription may not be quite right for a computer-related reading task. The distance and angle of a computer screen is usually higher up and farther away than when you’re reading a book or newspaper. Simply check with your eye doctor.
Don’t skip your annual eye exam!
It’s important to keep up to date on eye exams. Your eye doctor may recognize symptoms and give pointers for good eye health. Let him or her know if you work frequently with computers to make sure the contact lenses or glasses you wear are the best for computer tasks.
It’s important to take precautions for wellness! By keeping your eyes and body in good health, you’ll be able to continue to perform at your best, without discomfort or injury.
For more information about vision coverage through Meritain Health, please contact your Meritain Health representative.