How the Computer May Be Damaging Your Eyes

12/20/2011

from the Eye Health Center

Call it the revenge of the electronic screens. Many of us spend hours each day peering at computer screens, televisions, hand-held devices, cell phones, GPS monitors and more. The result: dry eyes, irritation, blurred vision, double vision, headache, and tiredness.

There’s a word for this group of symptoms, or, rather, three words: “computer vision syndrome.” If the proliferation of eye drop products on store shelves is any measure, computer vision syndrome is an increasingly common problem. Here are a few suggestions to help your eyes feel more comfortable:

  • It’s easy to forget about blinking when you’re staring intently at a screen, so blink more often.
  • Women are more likely to have dry eyes than men. You may want to try over-the-counter eye drops known as “artificial tears.” These are available as lubricated, saline, homeopathic and other types. Using a humidifier may also help.
  • Turn down the lights. Reduce the wattage in desk lamps and adjust window blinds to cut down on screen glare.
  • Schedule rest breaks for your eyes during your workday. The American Optometric Association recommends resting your eyes for 15 minutes after working continuously for two hours on an electronic screen. In addition, every 20 minutes, look up from the screen and refocus your eyes on a distant object.
  • Want to try an alternative approach? A study in India tested 291 people who used computers at work and had similar levels of visual strain and discomfort. The researchers, who were from a yoga research foundation, put half of the subjects in a group that practiced an hour of yoga daily, five days a week. The others did their normal recreational activities for the same amount of time. After 60 days, the yoga group had reduced their eye discomfort, while the other group had increased amounts.
  • The easiest suggestion of all? Clean your screen frequently. Dust and smears make words harder to read, causing you more eyestrain.

 For more information on the health topics mentioned in this article visit

the HealthyWomen.org areas below.

 

Dry Eye Syndrome: www.healthywomen.org/condition/dry-eye-syndrome

 

Eye Health Center: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/eye-health

 

 

© 2011 HealthyWomen.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.

 

 

 

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How to Stay Healthy When Studying Online

11/22/2010
It’s a route that many students are taking nowadays because it allows them the freedom to do many things simultaneously while providing them with a great deal of flexibility too. Online education is in high demand because you can earn while you learn, you don’t have to spend as much as you do on traditional degrees, and you can stay at home and avoid the significant changes that college entails. However, when you study online, it’s best to take a proactive approach to prevent health problems, both minor and major.
·        You’re at risk for illness when you don’t get enough exercise and stay all day at home; so no matter how much work you have, no matter that you’ve always been a couch potato who has never exercised, it’s time to start right now. When you work out for at least half an hour a day, you prevent all kinds of diseases and keep illness at bay. A short, brisk walk is enough to rejuvenate you and boost your energy.
·        You could be stressed out if you have too many things on your plate – studying, working and having to balance social and familial obligations could become too much to handle and you start falling sick or feeling down more often. Regular exercise and taking time out to enjoy yourself once in a way helps reduce the burden you carry and lightens and raises your spirits.
·        One of the downsides to online education is that it isolates you and removes you from the social aspect of education. You don’t get to interact with teachers and classmates, and this makes concentration and studying a little more challenging. Some students thrive and flourish in this kind of environment; others however, start to pine for some form of human contact and this affects their mental and physical health. The solution to this problem is to seek out other learners close to where you live and form study groups whenever time permits; if this is not possible, try and form virtual groups and use video and voice chat to enhance your learning.
·        When you spend most of your time at home or in front of the computer, you tend to eat whatever is available and easily ready in a short time. Junk food forms a major part of your diet, and before you know it, your health suffers and your weight balloons up. So make a conscious effort to eat healthy – salads and juices if you don’t have time to cook, and sandwiches made with whole-wheat bread and filled with nutritious food instead of fatty meats for your meals will do your mental and physical health a world of good.
The best way to look after your health when you study online is to be proactive and take charge of it right from the word go – it’s easy to prevent obesity and illness rather than fight them after they’ve taken root.
 
 
By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online college . Carrie welcomes your comments at her email id: carrie.oakley1983(AT)gmail(DOT)com.