March Is Eye Safety Month
With so many
people using computers at work and at home, complaints of eye strain,
difficulty focusing and discomfort have become commonplace in
One of the
main reasons for this is — although offices have marched into the
age of technology, not much else has. People are still using the same
lighting, furniture and desk configurations they had when using
To mark March
as Workplace Eye Safety Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology
has put together some tips to help us alleviate some of the eye
problems modern technology has given birth to. They are:
- First and most important — get an eye exam
by your ophthalmologist, who can rule out the possibility of eye
disease as the cause of your symptoms. You could simply need glasses
when working at a computer, or your prescription might need updating;
- Screen distance
— you should sit approximately 20 inches from the computer
monitor, a little further than you would for reading distance, with the
top of the screen at or below eye level.
- Equipment — choose a monitor that tilts or swivels, and has both contrast and brightness controls;
- Furniture — an adjustable chair is best;
- Reference materials
— keep reference materials on a document holder so you
don’t have to keep looking back and forth, frequently refocusing
your eyes and turning your neck and head;
— modify your lighting to eliminate reflections or glare. A hood
or micromesh filter for your screen might help limit reflections and
- Rest breaks — take periodic rest breaks, and try to blink often to keep your eyes from drying out.
to remember is that the forced-air heating systems in big office
buildings can increase problems with dry eyes during the winter months.
The usual symptoms of dry eye are stinging or burning eyes,
scratchiness, a feeling that there’s something in the eye,
excessive tearing or difficulty wearing contact lenses.
eye drops, called artificial tears, usually help, but if dry eye
persists, see your eye doctor for an evaluation.
— Lyn Wagner —