With so many of us using computers at work, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint. Studies show that eye strain and eye health problems occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers. While many reports note a blink rate of 15-20 per minute is normal, I think this is too little for our modern day computer use. Dr. Bates believes that eyesight problems can be healed by relearning to see correctly, naturally. This will certainly not be possible in this era of computers if you work with one but you can maintain them in the best shape possible by incorporating these habits:
- Movement – The natural state of the eye and the body is movement, it was not designed to stay on a chair and stare at the computer all day long. The more you can get out of this state the better.
- Centralization – It’s an exercise when focusing on specific parts of an object, diffusing and trying to see the whole object at once causes blurred vision.
- Sketching – When switching focus from near to far objects, important for maintaining your eyesight sharp
- Relaxing – Strain in the eye are also a cause for bad eyesight. As your eyesight goes bad you tend to squint which is causing the strain
- Blinking – is the most handy thing you can do when working at the computer, so do it often because it moistens your eyes and prevents dry eyes. Usually people blink 3 times less when staring at the computer
- Abdominal breathing – this is the correct way of breathing and not that superficial air intakes we all do.
- Palming – it’s an exercise that will literally refresh your eyes. Heat your palms by rubbing then rest them over the eyes for few minutes while you stay comfortable on your chair
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) (also known as Digital Eye Strain or Eye Strain) is a group of symptoms that results from prolonged computer (or other electronic device) use. CVS is an international epidemic. More importantly, I am convinced chronic screen staring, which is at the root of Computer Vision Syndrome is destroying patient’s meibomian glands which leads to chronic eye pain.
The average computer worker spends 7-8 hours a day on the computer either in the office or working from home. Also, recent studies have shown the bluish glow of our screens also reduces the body’s melatonin levels that we need to naturally sleep. Avoid all devices in bedrooms and do not give your kids a smart phone with internet. All they need is a dumb phone. You will be saving their eyes. In order to help alleviate digital eye strain, consider following the 20-20-20 rule recommended by the American Optometric Association: every 20 minutes take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away.
Here are some easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS):
- Use proper lighting: While working on a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.
- Minimize glare: Glare on walls and finished surfaces reflections on your computer screen can cause computer eye strain. Installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and paint bright white walls a darker color.
- Upgrade your display: Replace your old CRT monitor with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers.
- Adjust your computer display settings: Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally these setttings to be adjusted are brightness, contrast, color and text size. The best color combination for your eyes is black text on a white background, though other dark-on-light combinations also work well.
Here are some following free web application or mobile apps to help keep your eyes healthy and pain-free!
Blinkk (Chrome addon)
Blinkk is a simple Chrome extension that notifies you to take eye breaks. It is a small simple addon that helps you to prevent you from dry eyes, tiredness, blurred vision, dehydration, bad posture.
Eye Rest Notification (Chrome addon)
Eye Rest is something all computer users need and have to use to avoid the many health hazards that put their eyes into danger as a result of staring at their screens for so long.
EyeCare – Protect your vision (Chrome addon)
eyeCare is a web based extension that provides a solution to the common eye fatigue caused by overexposure to digital devices. The web extension allows the user to take regular breaks between digital device usage prevents potential future damage to your eyesight. eyeCare notifies you to take breaks and helps you with eye exercises.
Eyes & Body Rest – 20-20-20 Rule (OPERA addon)
Eyes & Body Rest is a web based extension to notify you in multiple ways to take breaks and helps you with eye exercises based on 20-20-20 rule and with body exercises for proper posture.
Blink Reminder (FIREFOX addon)
Blink Reminder reminds the user to blink and look away from the monitor regularly to prevent eye stain and dry eye.
Protect Your Vision (CHROME, FIREFOX AND SAFARI Website)
Its a very popular apps that protect your eyes. It notifies you with sound on regular breaks and block your screen for sometimes. It also gives you suggestion for your eyes exercise. Its also shows popup desktop notification for the specified breaks.
EyeLeo (Windows application)
Staring at a computer monitor for too long can place serious strain on your eyes. EyeLeo helps by reminding you to rest your eyes on breaks regularly. It shows you simple eye exercises and prevents you from using the computer at break times. Its has short and long breaks for regular intervals with screen blocking. It also suggests you to do eyes exercises by an adorable Leopard.
Awareness (Mac, Windows)
Awareness is a Mac and Windows free app that helps you take regular breaks. It is very inconspicuous as it sits on your menu bar, quietly counting the minutes until your next small break.. You tell the app how long you’re allowed to use your computer without a break, and how long you want to have a break. Awareness plays the steady tone of a Tibetan singing bowl to let you know it’s time for a break. It actually makes sure you take that break by monitoring your app/browser usage for those minutes, but doesn’t lock you out.
F.lux (Mac, Windows, Linux, and iPhone)
F.lux save your eyes by making your display’s brightness adapt to the time of day. It makes the color computer display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better. makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. F.lux will do the rest, automatically. F.lux creates a custom lighting schedule for you that changes every day throughout the year based on your wake time and location, . You can also fine tune the colors to fit your needs.