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Are Your Eyes Fighting with Your Computer?

By Sandy Schroeder

After a long work session on your computer, you may have a headache, blurred vision, or scratchy eyes. If you are sitting about an arm’s length from your monitor, you could be running into something called “computer vision syndrome,” according to Harvard Health.

You should be sitting about two feet from your screen, using computer glasses if you need them. If you stare at a screen at arm’s length for hours at a time, you may run into dry eyes and eyestrain.

Be cognizant of these things:

When you forget to blink – If you become so absorbed in your work that you forget to blink, dry eyes may develop. Blinking can shrink from 15 times to seven times per minute, reducing the thin layer of liquid tear film that protects the eyes, creating scratchiness and blurred vision. Ophthalmologists suggest using artificial tears several times a day, remembering to blink, and taking screen breaks. Look away every 15 minutes, focusing on a distant spot. 

Eyestrain and glare – Headaches can easily develop if you stare at a bright electronic screen for hours, straining to see the material. You may need to see your ophthalmologist for glasses. The doctor will also check to make sure there are no signs of cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration that can lead to blindness.

Workplace Checkpoints

  • Check your workplace to make sure your monitor is about two feet away, and slightly lower than eye level, about four inches
  • Reduce glare with matte screen filters on computer screens, tablets and smartphones
  • Use softer lighting in the workplace areas to minimize glare
  • Bump up the type size to avoid straining and moving the head forward to see

Tips to Keep Eyes Heathy

Feed your eyes – Protect your eyes from serious eye diseases with green leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, sweet potatoes, asparagus, citrus and pork.

Stop smoking – Get help if you need it to avoid cataracts and macular degeneration that can cause blindness. Smoking can also agitate back pain interfering with the flow of nutrients to the spine.

Protect eyes from the sun – Wear sunglasses whenever you are outside to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. If you need driving glasses, see about transition glasses that adjust to the light.

Use safety gear – Wear the right goggles and gear when working in the garage or participating in sports such as racquetball or ice hockey.

Our eyes are critical tools that deserve the best care. Keep your eye checkups up to date, and see your doctor if new symptoms appear.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wellington, Fla.

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