Computers allow us to communicate with people far away and visit far-away places with a few clicks of a button, but is sitting in front of a monitor that is only inches away hurting our vision? There are several things about sitting in front of a computer all day that can be detrimental to your health, but let’s look at how your constant computer use can affect your eyes.
You don’t get a new set of eyes when the ones you have wear out, so it’s important to take care of them. Your eyes have muscles in them that allow them to focus on objects at different distances. If you are only focusing on a monitor all day, then you are training those muscles in your eyes to only focus on that close distance. Over time this can cause your eyes to not focus so quickly on far away objects or can even lead to myopia or nearsightedness.
So what do you do if you have to sit at a computer all day?
Keep your eyes moving. The single biggest factor to vision loss related to computer use is simply not using the muscles in the eyes. Try not to find yourself staring at the screen for too long and take a break to focus on objects that are farther away. See how fast you can focus from the monitor to the window ledge to something outside the window and do it in rapid succession. Not only does this break up the monotony of looking at a screen all day, it also helps to work out those eye muscles.
It’s kind of like working out at the gym. The more you use certain muscles the stronger they will get. And if all you do is an exercise that works your right arm, then your left arm will become pretty useless. You want to exercise all the different muscles in the eye to make sure that none of the muscles develop a sort of atrophy from underuse. You might have to back away from the screen a little.
It has been suggested that your screen should be anywhere from 25-35 inches away from your face. If you are too close then it can really start to hurt your eyes and your long distance vision, but it will also cause more headaches when you are only 10 inches away from a screen. Sit back a little. As long as you can read the screen without squinting you should be fine.
The brightness of your screen can also lead to headaches and discomfort with your eyes, so you will want to adjust the settings so you can find the right balance in brightness. You also don’t want the light too dim where your eyes have to work harder to read the screen, because this can lead to the deterioration of your vision as well.
Force yourself to blink more as well. It has been proven that looking at a computer monitor makes us blink less and this can lead to dryness of the eyes, causing irritation. Wet eyes are healthy eyes, so force yourself to blink more until it becomes second nature.