Studies have shown that between 50 and 90% of people who work in front of a computer screen have some symptoms of eye trouble.
"We definitely see a lot of people who complain of eyestrain," says opthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler. "Hours upon hours of close focusing without taking a break is usually the main culprit."
The problem is so common, there's even a name for it: Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Common symptoms of eyestrain include: sore eyes, dry eyes, teary eyes, blurry vision, double vision, light sensitivity, difficulty focusing on images, neck pain, headache or a combination of all of the above.
Blinking is something humans (and virtually all other creatures) do involuntarily, just like breathing or swallowing. Obviously excluding animals like fish and snakes, which do not have eyelids, everybody and every animal blinks at varying rates. Eyelids are designed to keep the eyes safe, moist, and free of debris, and blinking is a mechanism intended to make sure that the eyelids are constantly doing their job. Thanks to science, it is now widely known that the average person blinks 15-20 times per minute, and nearly 29,000 times per day.
The rate of blinking often depends on the activity, and is often a way for scientists to study how much brain activity is consumed by a specific action. Blinking is the most effective way for individuals to avoid eyestrain from too much computer work. It refreshes the eyes most naturally
But blink rates are much reduced when staring at a computer screen or other digital device, and this can make your eyes burn, dry out, turn red or feel itchy. Sitting too close to your computer monitor, or holding a digital device closer to your eyes than you would normally hold a book or newspaper, also poses a problem.
The bottom line: be aware of your need to blink,
Copyright ©Stephen Lau