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4 Free Ways to Reduce Computer Eye Strain

Busy at work? Deadlines to meet? Worried your computer is ruining your eyes? Have no fear! Make these simple changes now and feel better!

photo credit: Reliable Optics

photo credit: Reliable Optics

Nowadays, pretty much everyone uses a computer. But those of use who sit at the desk all day long and spend 8+ hours staring at the monitor are going to be left with tired, red, sore eyes.  These folks will also experience headaches, neck pain, nausea, back pain and myriad of other health issues.  It’s time to make a change and it won’t even cost you a dime!

1. Take a break!!! There’s a rule known as the 20/20/20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 secs.  It’s important to relax the eyes by looking far away to reduce the strain from staring at a fixed distance (your computer) for too many hours. Imagine if you had to hold a dumbbell curled up all day long.  How tired you would your biceps would be? You have to take a break.  Go get a drink of water or make a bathroom run.

2. Dim It!  Turn down the brightness on your monitor. When it’s too bright, you’re more likely to squint and it can be very uncomfortable after a long day. Squinting requires lots of muscles so having them tensed all day will likely cause a headache.

3. Drink up!  Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and consume more healthy fats like Omega-3’s.  Have a small cup of water (that way, you have to get up to refill it often, see tip #1) and a big bag of unsalted almonds by your side.  This combo will provide healthy nutrients and proper hydration for that game of Solitaire you’re playing.  Too much caffeine will also dehydrate your body, so go easy on the Venti cup.

4. BLINK! On average, a human will blink every 3-4 seconds. The average computer user blinks every 12-15 seconds. Your eyes rely on blinking to remove debris from the surface and refresh the tears that naturally evaporate.

So make these changes today and your eyes will start feeling better!  Don’t forget to schedule your annual eye exam as well. People often buy new ergonomic chairs, keyboards, mouse pads and foot rests but forget how important a checkup is to their ocular health and comfort in the office.

-Dennis Cheng, O.D. dc optics
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