Eyes and Screen Use

We live in an age where almost all the information we consume comes from technology, whether it’s our smart phones, tablets, computers or televisions. It has also been argued that there are more mobile phones in the world then there are toothbrushes!

One concern we might have, though, is the question of ‘whether looking at a computer screen is harmful for my eyes?’

As children we may have heard an adult say to us, ‘if you look at a screen too long you’ll get square eyes!’

The reality is quite different, you’ll be glad to hear. Using a screen over paper actually has many benefits such as adjusting the contrast to suit your eyes and making the print bigger or smaller according to your preference.

Of course looking at a screen for a long time can make you tired, so it’s important to take breaks. We have compiled a list of helpful tips for you and your family to enhance your screen viewing experience:

  • Glasses: If you are a glasses wearer, make sure you wear them when looking at a screen.
  • Blink regularly: When focusing on a screen your reflexes will slow down, tear production will reduce, and you will blink less, causing dry and uncomfortable eyes.
  • The 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break and help increase the rate of blinking.
  • Distance: Keep the distance of the monitor from your eyes between 40 and 76 centimetres. Most people find a distance of 50 to 65 centimetres (20 to 26 inches) comfortable.
  • Eye Level: Align the top of the monitor to a level at, or slightly below, eye level.
  • Clean Your Screen: Keep your screen free of dust and fingerprints.
  • Sitting Pretty: Use an adjustable chair that enables you to sit at a proper angle and distance from your computer monitor screen.
  • Work Smart: If part of your work includes data entry, try and use a document holder so that your eyes don’t need to constantly refocus as they move from the document to the computer.
  • Font Size: Use a font size that is comfortable for you!
  • Posture Up: Avoid slouching or leaning back in your seat, look after your posture! Poor posture can lead to neck and back pains, amongst others

The Clinical and Patient Care Teams from Cathedral Eye Clinic are always on hand to have a chat about potential treatment options and the provision of eye health advice. Feel free to contact the Clinic on 02890 322020 or email info@cathedraleye.com for an initial, complimentary assessment (for freedom from glasses suitability assessments).

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