If you spend a lot of time working with a computer, reading or watching TV you are most likely short sighted. This means that you are unable to see objects in the distance very clearly.
This occurs because for the majority of the day your eyes are focused on objects that are close to you, so in effect your eyes become accustomed to seeing close objects. As a result the eyes becomes less able to see distant objects clearly.
Here’s 3 quick eye exercises you can use to improve your eyesight, and increase your ability to see objects in the distance.
Eye Exercise 1
Make an effort to stare at something in the distance every 30 – 60 minutes for at least 30 seconds. You can do this by simply looking at the other end of the room you are in, or looking out the window. This exercise will improve your focus of distant objects, by preventing the eye becoming accustomed to focusing only on objects that are close to you.
Eye Exercise 2
This is similar to the first exercise, but involves you putting your finger in front of your face about a hands distance away from your nose. Now look at your finger for a few seconds, then look at something in the distance. When you do this you should feel you eyes changing focus from the finger, to the distant object you are looking at. This is an excellent exercise for improving the focusing ability of your eyes.
Eye Exercise 3
For this exercise nod your head up and down, like you were nodding “yes” to someone. Look up at the ceiling and down at your toes.
This exercise will strengthen the muscles in your neck, thereby increasing blood circulation to the head and eyes. It could also help to reduce a sagging chin!
With rising numbers of people using computers a definite increase in the numbers of people with tired eyes and eyestrain has occurred. There is no scientific link between using computers and permanent eye damage, however you do not need a scientist to prove the fact that using a monitor for any great length of time results in tired, red, and sometimes dry eyes.
There is also something called Computer vision syndrome, which is a common eye condition amongst computer screen users. Symptoms can range from tired eyes to blurred vision. If you do experience any of the following symptoms you could have computer vision syndrome. If you find it difficult to focus on distant objects after using a computer, you have headaches, eyestrain or dry eyes you need to take extra care when using a monitor to avoid getting computer vision syndrome. It is also best to visit your optician for an eye test to rule out anything more serious.
Here are some tips to help with tired eyes:
- Take breaks. Focusing on the screen for long periods can lead to computer vision syndrome so it is important to take regular breaks. You should rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking away from the screen. You can also use the 10-10-10 rule, every ten minutes focus on something at least 10 feet away for at least 10 seconds.
- Adjust your monitor settings and position. You should adjust your computer so that the monitor settings are comfortable for you. The brightness and contrast can be adjusted so that you are not straining your eyes. Try using a larger font size or using the zoom option on the page layout to make it easier on your eyes. The screen should also be kept clean using special wipes. Your health and safety manager at work will be able to help you ensure the screen is positioned correctly. The screen should be at least at arms lenght away from you, and also new research has discovered that the verticle centre of the monitor should be at eye level.
- Check the lighting around the computer. There should not be any bright sunlight reflecting onto your screen. Using an anti-glare screen which is fixed onto your monitor is a good idea to reduce any glare and will block any reflections.
- Blink frequently. Remember to blink at regular intervals. When you are concentrating for a long time at a computer your blink rate slows down. Some people also find that they get dry eyes when using computers. This is one of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome but it can be relieved by using eye drops. Ask your optician for advice if you get dry eyes. Those who wear contact lenses may be more prone to dry eye.
- Have regular eye tests. Experts recommend that adults should have an eye test at least every two years. An eye test will check your eyesight and will also look for signs of eye disease. Other health problems may also be detected during an eye test.
If you use computers for work you may be entitled to a free eye test, paid for by your employer. Under European legislation employees who use VDUs are entitled to an eye test when they begin using VDUs and at regular intervals throughout their employment. If you experience eye problems which may be a result of using VDUs then you will be entitled to a free eye test. If you then need to wear glasses your employer must pay for a basic pair of glasses or you can pay the difference for a pair of your choice.
If you spend a lot of time using a computer, reading, or watching TV you could be straining your eyes. This happens because for the majority of the day your eyes are focused on objects that are close to you, so your eyes become conditioned to seeing close objects. As a result of this the eyes becomes less able to see distant objects clearly. When the eyes are relaxed the natural focus point is about 7 feet. From this you can see how much tension is put on the eyes to focus up close.
One rule to apply to minimize the risk of eye strain is to use the 10-10-10 rule. When you are working on any type of activity where the eye is focussed closer than 7 feet you should apply this 10-10-10 rule. For each 10 minute of close activity you should focus on an object at least 10 feet away for at least 10 seconds.
The more you do this the less likely you will experience any deterioration of vision.