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 Healthy Computing: Prevent Vision Problems 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by . View all columns in series
After working at the computer, are your eyes irritated? If you answered 'yes', you are not alone. Between 33 to 37 percent of people who work at the computer experience eye irritation. Computer vision syndrome includes symptoms such as itching, burning or dry eyes. These symptoms are often associated with computer work because our blinking rate is reduced by about 70%. In addition, when looking straight ahead or upwards at the monitor our eyes tear less, and the corneal surface dries as the humidity in the air is decreased. Look to your health and PREVENT VISION PROBLEMS.

HOW TO PREVENT VISION PROBLEMS:

Observe your blinking rate while looking (or is it staring?) at the monitor. Train yourself to gently blink at the end of every paragraph or with every mouse click. Blink at least once or twice a minute.

Measure the height of the monitor. The top of the screen should be equal to or lower than the height of your eyebrows. When you look slightly down, your lids will usually sweep down the whole eyeball when you blink. This moistens the cornea instead of only the upper eyeball, which is what occurs when you are looking straight ahead or slightly up.

Check the humidity in the room. Often the humidity is less than 20% with air conditioning and heating. Eyes dry out much more quickly when the humidity is low, especially when you wear contacts. Bring moisture to your office with a humidifier or plants. Plants not only increase humidity, they also absorb irritating volatile organic chemicals and encourage relaxation when we look at their green color.

Copyright 2003 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney
Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders

      
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 About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco......moreErik Peper PhD
 
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