If you are reading Incrediblogger there is a very good chance that you like to blog or at the very least like to spend a lot of time reading blogs! Blogs are great as they allow you to express your opinion and also read the opinion of other bloggers giving you many different perspectives. The problem with blogging is that it takes a lot of time and requires us to spend many hours staring at our computer screen, often without a break. If this is something you can relate to, then you are likely to have experienced many if not all of the following symptoms:
Red eyes: Whilst getting red eyes from staring at the computer screen will not do you any harm, it does not do much for your appearance! Our eyes get there oxygen from our tears and this requires us to blink regularly. Unfortunately, when we are in deep concentration focusing on the computer screen our blink levels significantly reduce, meaning our eyes do not receive the required amounts of oxygen. In response to this, the blood vessels in our Sclera (white part of our eye) enlarge to increase the amount of blood flow, thus making our eyes look red.
Stinging eyes: Our eyes sting for the same reason as they go red . . . . insufficient blinking! The tears remove any debris which can form on the surface of eyes and without this continual replenishment of fresh tears our eyes can sting and feel itchy.
Headaches: When we stare at the computer screen we tend to frown, which results in the muscles in our forehead continually contracting. This can lead to frontal headaches after prolonged computer use.
Eye strain: Our eyes can feel tired and achy after an extended time on the computer. The reason for this is that it requires a constant effort from our eye muscles to hold the focus on the screen. These muscles can fatigue in the same way that our leg muscles would fatigue after prolonged use and consequently they start to ache.
Blurred vision: You may find you start losing focus on your computer screen after excessive use as the lens in your eye starts to tire. The lens in our eye is powered my muscles which ensures that we are focussing at exactly the distance you require. These muscles may become fatigued and you could have momentary lapses of focus.
So these are the problems I am experiencing - How do I fix them!?
Blink more: This really will make your eyes feel better as it will reduce the first 2 symptoms listed: red eyes and stinging eyes. If you struggle to manage this, you could alternatively get yourself some artificial tears which you can instil into your eyes once your eyes start stinging. These effectively replenishes the tears and reduce the symptoms.
Take more breaks: Computer users hardly ever takes breaks – Fact! Your eyes need a rest in the same way that other parts of your body needs a rest after prolonged use. Try and have a 5 minute break every hour or so and it is important not to do any close vision tasks such as reading during your break as this will not relax your eyes! Watching the TV for 5 minutes is fine as your eyes are not focussing at near vision.
Get your eyes tested: If your eyes are strained, tired and aching it may mean that you need spectacles. A visit to your Optometrist will rule out whether or not your need glasses. Working on the computer for long periods is tiring enough even if you have perfect vision, so doing it whilst needing glasses will make things even worse!
I hope this article has been useful to you and I honestly believe if you follow these simple pieces of advice you will significantly reduce the eye strain you are suffering from. Don’t abuse your eyes as they cannot be replaced and you only get one pair of them! This article was written by an eye specialist, Tim Harwood who practices Optometry in the UK. As well as this he also writes information for Treatmentsaver a health comparison website.