Saturday, December 31, 2011

Preventing Eye Strain While Using Your Computer
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  • Saturday, December 31, 2011
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  • eye-strainI had recently been to an eye doctor, when I felt that the power of my eyes had increased, despite me already wearing spectacles from the past year or so. Seems that the power of my eyes increased by –0.5 each. While everyone blames that on the excessive routine of staring at the monitor, I had to agree with them on that. 

    So what do you do to reduce the eye strain that your computer gives you? These are the advices the three doc gave me.

    1. Sit in a suitable position

    According to the doctor, the best way to reduce strain is to sit in a suitable position, in front on your computer. How exactly do you define a “suitable” position? This is what he explains:

    • Your monitor should be at least 20 inches (50 cm) away from your eyes.
    • There must be some background lighting behind you (in front of the monitor – not behind the monitor),but adjust it in such a way that the light doesn’t reflect back to you.
    • You must be seated at a suitable height, such that your eyes are always above the monitor level

    2. Blink Frequentlyblinking

    Another effective solution to get rid of your eye stress is to blink regularly. Though you do not control the frequency of blinking, blinking at least 15 times a minute is a must. If you do not reach this limit, then symptoms like red, teary eyes and itching in the eye region are expected.

    3. Take a break!

    If you are a long term computer user – then you need to take a break every 30 minutes, for at least a minute or so. While you are on your break, you are not supposed to do any reading activities (nor watch any other glowing rectangles).

    4. Tweak your computer to help you

    Your computer can help your reduce the strain on your eyes too. The first thing you should do – is to reduce the brightness of your monitor – so that it is lesser than that of the surrounding you are sitting in. Reducing the contrast along with the brightness also helps.

    The next important thing you should do is to increase the refresh-rate-adjustrefresh rate of your monitor. LCD/TFT monitors are much better at reducing eye strain than CRT monitors. However, if you own a CRT monitor, then you should keep your refresh rate high. How do you change it, then? Read this (windows XP) or this (windows vista and 7) [Mac users need to download DisplayConfigX to be able to do that].

    eye-breakTaking a break for a minute, once in 30 minutes, maybe tough for hardcore computer users, but it is an important thing to do. Fortunately, there are softwares that let you do so, like the very handy Time Left, with which you can set up  reminders to remind you to take a hike for a minute from your computer. Their website even gives you a guide to set up an alarm to take a break.

    Eye Defender is another useful software that was actually made with an intension to keep your eyes protected. You can configure it to automatically give you a break every 30 or 45 minutes. The exercises it gives during the breaks may not be that effective, it still manages to tell you that it time you left the computer already.

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