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The right light saves your eyes

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After a few hours working at your computer, a headache sets in. Actually, it’s your eyes. You keep rubbing them in the hope that will make your pain go away.

Eyestrain is a common ailment for busy office workers. After an extended period staring at your monitor, you may feel slightly dizzy or queasy. The fatigue that you might normally associate with motion sickness may arise from reading page after page on your screen.

Stand up, take a deep breath and inspect your desk. Confirm that your computer monitor isn’t situated in front of an open window or that an adjustable lamp isn’t pointed at your face. Sources of glare or brightness can wear down your eyes in subtle ways.

At the same time, beware of working on the computer in the dark. Your screen should never serve as the brightest light source in the room; the contrast between the surrounding darkness and a bright monitor can tax your eyes.

Ideally, the surrounding light should not overpower the computer. In offices with bright fluorescent lights, rooms can be bathed in so much illumination that a computer becomes harder to see. Install a dimmer switch so that glaring overhead lights don’t pose a problem.

Look up and away

If you must read a multipage document on your computer, begin by enlarging the font size of the text. If you catch yourself squinting even once, stop and take corrective action (such as adjusting your screen’s brightness or contrast) to avoid repeated problems. You’re safest with black type on a white background.

Rotate from computer-based work to easy-on-the-eyes tasks such as tidying your office or holding meetings. By breaking up long stints looking at your monitor, you can revitalize your eyes. If your work requires that you focus all day on a computer, use your downtime to engage in other activities (as opposed to reading an e-book or playing a computer game!).

Eye doctors advise computer users to blink frequently. Blinking lubricates your eyes and thus prevents the tired sensation that comes from “dry eyes.”


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