When work involves using a computer, people on average spend 7.5 hours with their eyes fixed on the screen every day. This adds up to nearly 38 hours a week and around 1,800 hours a year. To protect the eyes during the hours spent in front of the computer, you should follow some simple rules to avoid eye strain.
"People are advised to look after their ocular health," explains Fernando Llovet, medical director at Clínica Baviera.
To do this the doctor recommends a few simple points:
1. Rest your eyes. It is advisable to look into the distance for a couple of minutes every hour. For example, look out the window and change your focus by looking towards the horizon.
2. Blink and hydrate your eyes. The longer we stay looking at the computer screen the frequency of blinking is reduced and the tears produced to keep the eye moist are not distributed efficiently. You should try to make a conscious effort to blink frequently or, if necessary, hydrate your eyes with artificial tears.
3. Make sure you are at a correct distance from the screen. It should be parallel to your line of vision and 50cm from your face. You should try to avoid reflections on the screen and adjust the focus and brightness as needed. The screen should be kept clean so that the clarity is not reduced. Your body posture is also important.
4. Adjust the lighting. Although working in natural light is ideal it is not always the best option. Too much light can as be as detrimental to your sight as not enough. In offices with large windows it is recommended that there are systems to regulate the amount of light to make workers more comfortable.
In offices which have artificial lighting it is preferable to maintain the correct conditions using light bulbs that emit white light, and avoid transparent lighting.
Reading lights should be positioned so that they do not shine directly into the eyes.
5. Ventilate the office. Temperature, humidity and ventilation are the primary factors in creating a comfortable environment in which to work. It is important to maintain a correct level of humidity to prevent your eyes drying out.
Also, the air should be refreshed periodically without creating draughts or sudden changes in the temperature.