Q: My job requires me to spend lots of time at the computer. How can I protect my eyes?
A: Because so many people spend so many hours at their computers, there’s an official name for the eyestrain that can result: computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms include dry, burning eyes and blurry vision. Here’s how to fend off CVS:
1. Look down, not up. Tilt your screen slightly downward so its center is about 4 to 8 inches below eye level. Every 15 minutes, look from side
to side. Then, gaze into the distance. Do some shoulder rolls as you look around, so you get a nice neck stretch, too.
2. Stand up. Take a 10-minute bathroom break at least every 2 hours, even if you don’t have to go. As you walk, let your eyes idle.
3. Use eye drops. You blink less when you’re staring at a screen, causing dry eyes. Squeeze in preservative-free artificial tears as needed.
4. Check your glasses. The glasses you use while driving may keep you from plowing into the car ahead of you, and magnifiers let you read menus, but neither may help you see (correctly) computer type that’s 20 to 26 inches away. Ask an optometrist about computer glasses.
5. Hit the hay. Your retinal membranes are just like the rest of your body; they need sleep to revive.
—Dr. Michael Roizen, Sharecare.com expert, Internist
Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic Co-founder, Realage.com
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