Dr. Larry Harrison      Marin's Family Eye Doctor      Royce Kakar, Optician 

Copyright © San Anselmo Optometry. All rights reserved.

Some people react with more difficulty focusing on characters on a computer screen as opposed to reading printed material on paper.

Working on a computer often leads to many of the following:

     ◊  Headache                                       
     ◊  Dry, burning, tired eyes                 
     ◊  Excessive blinking or squinting      
     ◊  Double vision                                 
     ◊  General fatigue                                
     ◊  Loss of focus or blurred vision
     ◊  Overall stress
     ◊  Muscular strain
     ◊  Excessive tears
     ◊  Neck or shoulder strain or pain

For optimum comfort and performance, it is often necessary to use a specific computer pair of glasses. This is especially true when you wear progressive or bifocal lenses.  However, often even young people who see 20/20 have focusing issues that hamper their performance and create early fatigue.

With progressive lenses or bifocals looking straight ahead at a monitor will not be clear unless you tilt your head upward. That type of posture not only creates inefficient performance but result in creating or aggravating neck and back problems requiring medical attention or even surgery.  

Computer glasses are designed so that you can look straight ahead at the monitor without head tilting. Vision past 10 feet is less clear though frequently manageable while in an office.  Wearing the correct prescription at the computer not only reduces eyestrain but typically increases efficiency. 

Refocus eyes away from the monitor to across the room for 5 seconds every 10-15 minutes.  Look at objects that are varying distances from your computer. Perform several rapid and quick blinks several times to rewet and refocus during this eye break.  Using eye lubricants or rewetting drops may be beneficial also. 

Ambient lighting should be available.  Avoid harsh brightness changes from the computer monitor to the room. Minimize screen glare by positioning the monitor or source of light in the room to avoid glare and light reflections.

Place your monitor directly in front of you rather than off to one side. Adjust monitor sharpness and contrast. Try to place the screen at 20-26 inches from you.  A larger monitor with higher resolution and refresh rate may also be helpful.

Adjust your chair so that both feet touch the ground and your knees and hands are comfortable. Consider switching to a trackball if you use a regular mouse.  Trackballs are awkward at first but appear healthier for long term use. Stand up, stretch and move about whenever possible.

digital devices and your eyes

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