The Eyes Have
The American Optometric Association (AOA) has some useful information for
inveterate computer users. As reported by HealthDay, here are several
interesting facts and much healthful advice from the AOA:
Research shows that vision problems may occur in up to nine out of 10 workers
who rely on video display terminals on the job. Common symptoms include
eyestrain, blurred vision, double vision, excessive tears, dry eyes, and/or
excessive blinking or squinting. These, in turn, sometimes contribute to
headaches and to neck or shoulder pain. Some people have all or most of the
symptoms, whereas others experience fewer. The apparent cause often can be
traced back to spending many hours each day on a computer.
- If you are encountering eye
trouble during or following computer use, you need to have your eyes
- When computer users have a
focusing problem or a refractive error, often the remedy is to wear their
glasses when using the computer.
- Also take frequent, brief
breaks (about every half hour). Such breaks can last only one or two
minutes. During that time, look at a distant object in order to help refresh
the vision. For example, fix your eyes on something located across the room,
or look out of a window.
- Adjust the brightness of
your monitor to an intensity that is comfortable to your eyes. Afterward,
adjust the contrast between the characters and the background so that
letters and numbers are optimally read.
- Use curtains, window shades,
or dimmer switches on lights to reduce reflected glare on your monitor.
Also, remove bright light sources from your peripheral vision. Additional
AOA tips for reducing glare include: (1) position your monitor perpendicular
to windows or other bright light sources, (2) wear tinted glasses, and/or
(3) purchase an anti-glare screen for your monitor.
- Reduce eyestrain by keeping
your monitor in an ergonomically suitable position. It should be 16 to 30
inches from the eyes (depending on its size and your vision status). Most
computer users find a range of from 20 to 26 inches comfortable. According
to the AOA, the monitor's top should be just slightly below eye level and
its center 10 to 20 degrees below eye level (which would be about 4 to 9
inches below the eyes at a 24-inch distance).
- If someone else uses your
computer (especially a small child), adjust it to fit the other individual's
needs. Afterward, remember to reinstate your own comfort settings.
- One of the most prevalent
complaints after heavy computer use is dry eyes. It seems that people tend
to blink less while viewing a computer screen. To help prevent and relieve
dry eyes, take breaks often and keep on hand "artificial tears" (lubricant
They Don't Know What They've Been Missing
Writing for The Observer of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, columnist Rick
Martorano recently shared some wry excerpts from the joke book "Getting Old? --
Don't Lose Your Sense of Humor" by Dr. William Lee, retired Dean of the
University of Miami School of Music.
Some of Dr. Lee's funniest observations have to do with our new crop of college
students: people born during the 1990s. Here are a few examples that had us
chuckling here at SFA:
- "The CD was introduced thirteen years before they were born."
- "They have always had an answering service."
- "Bottle caps have always been screwed off and plastic."
- "They cannot imagine not having remote controls."
- "Jay Leno has always been the host of the Tonight Show."
- "Popcorn has always been made in the microwave."
- "They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was."
Experience! readers: Thank
you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA
receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the
newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest
to our members.
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