Then I will take a break.
Or, maybe I need bifocals. I mean, I have lived just over half a century, and my eyes aren't getting any younger. Plus, medical studies show that long blocks of time in front of a computer screen can increase the chance of glaucoma.
Seriously, if you spend a huge chunk of time in front of a computer monitor, several simple adjustments can give your eyeballs a break! Test these tips to cut down on digital eye strain.
- Check your work space. Do you constantly adjust the angle of your monitor? I was, until I moved my laptop closer to the front of my desk. (Genius, I know. :) ) It's the Goldilocks and Three Bears effect: too far away = squinting, too close = headache. But when the screen is at the perfect angle, I could write for hours. (Well, I usually do...) Programs like f.lux or Google Sunglasses adjust the monitor brightness to the time of day.
- Turn on lights. Remember when your parents would say, "Turn the lights on or you'll hurt your eyes. You can't watch TV in the dark." Same principle applies to the computer screen. Once I added a lamp on my computer desk, my aching eyes felt immediate relief.
- Adjust the font. Increasing font size is an easy fix. Why not bump up the type to 12 or 14 instead of that tiny 10-point?
- Take a break. My eye doctor suggested I write for 20 minutes, then take a break and focus on an object that is 20 feet from my computer. I've been trying to keep this schedule, but sometimes, when I'm in my groove, I forget. That's when I . . .
- Set a timer. Computer programs like EyeDefender (Windows) or Workrave (Windows and Linux) remind you that it's time for a cup of tea or a walk, time to get up and step back from the screen.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water. Period. Those scratchy, itchy eyes will thank you, too.
- Blink. Not only does blinking bring moisture to the eyes, those built-in windshield wipers keeps dust and irritants from the eyes.
No headaches. No neck breaking. And best of all, no eye strain.
by LuAnn Schindler