April 8, 2012

The Glare Affects My Stare

I recently started a new job where sitting at a computer screen for hours is the norm.  As time progressed, I seriously felt the retinas in my eyes burning –okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. However, I often find myself, head in hand, trying to figure out ways to divert my attention away from the screen.  It reminds me of the neon bug zappers – every time I meet the computer’s gaze … ‘zap!’ my once-perfect sight loses more strength.

eye glasses

Even after trying all sorts of measures like dimming the brightness of my screens – and even wearing sunglasses in hopes to lessen the destruction – I was at a standstill. I literally felt nauseous, severe headaches, and dizzy when I would drive home.  I wondered if I would be able to power through the pain, and the fear of my eyes slowly growing weaker was not exciting.
computer screen glare
All of this because of a computer screen?  I was reminded of the scene from The Office when Michael tries to convey that office safety is comparable to warehouse safety. Yeah, I know it’s no baler, but a computer packs its own punch and extreme dangers.  Thanks, Michael!

With fear of being jobless in this questionable economy, I was clueless.  I began researching (of course, on the internet – a double-edged sword) eye safety and ways to prevent harm to my eyes. I found a multitude of resources on several websites, to help remove the strain from the computer. 

I am not fearful of wearing glasses, and I am long past the age of being called a four-eyed monster.  I just prefer to not deal with the hassle of them.  As well as, I like to maintain a healthy stature including eye safety.
After reading through the various tips about preventive measures and ways to implement eye safety, I feel like my fate will fare well.  Although I think I’m avoiding glasses for now, I realize they’re probably inevitable in my distant future. I’ve practiced some of the preventative measures and have already seen results. Here’s what’s worked for me so far:
  1. Minimizing the glare.
  2. Making myself blink.  Sounds silly, but I try to consciously force myself to divert my eyes and blink for a few seconds. Just in case I forget, I have eye drops on hand.
  3. Taking frequent breaks.  (To be honest, this is not just for eye safety!)
  4. Dusting the screen often.  I had no idea this affected my vision!
  5. Increasing the font size to decrease strain.
  6. I moved my monitors back and slightly below my focus.
These in-office techniques have vastly improved the hurtful strain in my eyes, but just like a body needs exercise, eyes do as well.  Here are a few eye exercises that I have implemented and can be easily done in the office without too much commotion:
  1. Rub my hands together and press my cupped palms on my closed lids. I don’t always any light in and focus on the darkness for a minute.
  2. Close my eyes tightly for 3-5 seconds.
  3. Roll my eyes clockwise, then counter-clockwise.
  4. Focus on a distant object for about 10 seconds.
  5. Look at the front opposite wall and pretend to write letters with your eyes.  
  6. Make up and down eye movements and then left to right movements.
  7. Repeat the first step to relax the eyes. 
With all the corrective measures and new exercised, the headaches have stopped and the dizziness is gone.  Every once in a while I still feel nauseous, and that is when I take a break.  Eye safety first, right boss?

(Guest Post by Bethany Smith)

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