How do you protect your eyes from computer eye strain?
Computer eye strain: the struggle is real
How do you protect your eyes from the glare of your mobile gadget screens? How do you protect your eyes from computer eye strain? It’s such a pressing concern nowadays, especially since being part of the so-called Information Age necessitates our use of our computers and gadgets on a daily basis.
My work right now as a freelance writer, for instance, means that I need to spend a minimum of 6 hours a day working with – and thus staring at – my computer. Staring at your screen for too long isn’t healthy because they either become too dried out or too fatigued to see properly (Markham Heid, 2014). The result? A myriad of symptoms including headaches and blurred vision.
Since I know that I’m not the only one who needs to take care of my eyes, I’d like to ask my readers how they take care of theirs. I try my best but I’m always open to learn new, better, and practical solutions to problems. Please do share your tips. 🙂
If you want to know what I do to curb this particular problem, here’s a short list:
I use desktop apps that combat eye fatigue.
I use this free application called VARIDESK that helps you “transition from sitting all day while working, to alternating from sitting to standing.” It also calculates the number of calories you burned from both sitting and standing! I’ve programmed mine so I can sit down for 20 minutes and then stand up for 10. I use this app as a reminder to also rest my eyes and draw my gaze away from the computer. I either close my eyes or focus on a distant object for several seconds.
Why this doesn’t work for me all the time: Using VARIDESK is like having an alarm clock installed in your computer. The sound of the alert is jarring, all the more so if you’re already engrossed in what you’re doing. Taking a break can be equal to interrupting your momentum at work. Sometimes, I end up minimizing the app’s window just so I can carry on as usual.
* OCTOBER 12, 2017 UPDATE:
VARIDESK’s free desktop app doesn’t seem to be available anymore. It’s not on Google Play Store and the links to it from their official website just lead to dead ends. Here are some alternative eye health apps as recommended by Entrepreneur:
I don’t eat lunch at my desk.
It’s good to take a break from work. An hour-long lunch break helps you recharge and become more efficient and productive. Also, taking a break from your desk means taking a prolonged break from the glare of the computer screen.
Why this doesn’t work for me all the time: Whenever I’m on a roll, I usually cut short my break and choose to have coffee at my workspace just so I could immediately type down my latest thoughts. The thing about having good ideas (or any idea!) is that if you don’t record them somewhere, you’re bound to forget them. Ideas are ephemeral like that. This urge to write down thoughts lest they escape you, unfortunately, has its drawbacks.
I nosh on sustenance that promote good eye health.
While it doesn’t directly prevent computer eye strain, eating food rich in Vitamin A helps promote overall eye health. That’s because Vitamin A helps the surface of the eye, mucuous membranes, and skin be effective barriers to bacteria and viruses, thus reducing the risk of eye infections (Gary Heiting, 2015). So if you like eating carrots, you’re in luck! Here’s a tip: buy baby carrots the next time you’re in the grocery. Baby carrots are really sweet and will make you forget that you’re actually eating something healthy. 😉
WebMD also mentions nourishing yourself with food types that are rich in specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E. Examples of such food include the following:
- green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale,
- salmon, tuna, and other oily fish,
- eggs, nuts, beans,
- oranges and other citrus fruits,
- and oysters and pork.
Why this doesn’t work for me all the time: Well, actually this works for me most of the time. I’m fortunate enough to not be very finicky about food. The only time it doesn’t work is when any of the abovementioned food aren’t available at home or in the grocery.
What about you? Do your eyes often feel fatigued at the end of a work day? What do you do to protect your eyes from the glare of the computer screen? Do share your stories and suggestions!
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Image from Wikimedia Commons.
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