Could my computer habits be damaging my eyes?

Could my computer habits be damaging my eyes?

After giving up my career as a personal trainer to move into an office-based environment, one of the biggest challenges was having to get used to sitting at a computer for most of the day.

My role as a receptionist involves being the woman in the know, with spreadsheets and word documents coming out of my ears!

But using the computer so often leaves my eyes feeling tired and strained by the end of the day.

Staring at the computer so much can cause me to blink less frequently and reduces the natural lubrication of the eyes surface, something which leading optician Nick Atkins also blames on dry air conditioned offices.

To remove any eye discomfort during the working day, Mr Atkins recommends: “Regular breaks and blink exercises (30 to 60 seconds of deliberate blinking and eye movement) as well as drinking plenty of water to maintain hydration.”

Dry eye drops available from pharmacists can also be great at providing rapid relief when used two or three times a day, and he argues that they “will also help prevent symptoms occurring”.

The make-up of these topical ophthalmic treatments is such that they have the potential to improve the stability of our tear film and reduce symptoms of dry eyes, however should over-the-counter drops fail then it’s always advisable to visit your GP or optician.

Now that I know what to avoid hopefully I can get my dry eyes under control.

Drinking extra water is good for so many things so that shouldn’t be too difficult, however I think I’ll save the rapid blinking exercises for when I pop out to the loo, thereby avoiding weird looks from my colleagues!

How does your computer affect your eyes and what are you doing about it?

Posted by Elsa Pienaar

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