Using computers is a way of life, and only few of us can do without a computer in our daily lives.
Using video display terminals (VDTs) on a regular basis will inevitably lead to computer visual stress. Prolonged VDT use causes two common eye problems: focusing and eye coordination. Other side effects may include: headaches, blurring of images, and eyestrain.
Computer visual stress takes a great toll on the eye with respect to the following:
· Binocularity (using both eyes together)
· Convergence (bringing the eyes together at close range)
· Eye accommodation (focusing)
· Shifting (eye movement skill)
Computer-induced visual stress is a common workplace problem, which is manifested in nearsightedness, eyestrain, eye focusing difficulties, changes in color perception, double vision, and general stress.
Optimizing the Computer System
Be aware of how information appears on your computer screen, and adjust your tracking and scanning visual skills accordingly.
The characters on your computer screen should be 10 times brighter than the screen background.
The lighting of the room should be three times brighter than the computer screen background.
The character size should be appropriate: approximately 80 characters per line with 25 lines per screen.
The VDT viewing distance (18 – 25 inches) should be greater than the normal reading distance (12 – 16 inches). The recommended viewing distance is 20 inches between the eye and the computer screen.
The line of sight to the top of the computer should be 20 degrees below horizontal, and the line of sight to the bottom of the screen should be 20 degrees lower.
Overcoming Computer-Induced Visual Stress
The following are some of the tips to reduce or overcome computer-induced visual stress:
Use a screen filter to help eliminate the glare, static, and radiation problems related with VDT viewing.
Every now and then, rotate your head forward and backward, and sideways to relieve tension in the neck, which may adversely affect the functioning of the eye.
Do the palming exercise to relax the eye; even a 2-minute session will significantly relieve eyestrain.
Do the thumb rotation exercise:
Sit in a relaxed posture.
Cover your right eye with your right hand.
Hold out the left hand directly in front of your nose, with your elbow straight. Slightly clench your fingers, leaving the thumb erect.
Now, look at your thumbnail, and begin moving your left arm up, then outward and downward to a point that is level with your nose (like in a quarter circle).
Follow your thumbnail with your left eye. Move only your arm and your eyeball.
Repeat the above with your right hand
The objective of this thumb rotation exercise is to improve your eye movement and to organize your visual space. You can easily practice this exercise even at your workplace
Given that computer-induced visual stress may have long-term impact on your vision health, be aware of the time you spend on the computer. It is very important to give yourself breaks and during those breaks, give yourself time to practice eye palming exercise to relax your eyes. Remember, even a five-minute palming will do wonders to relax your eyes.
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau