Friday, October 13, 2006

Monitor your tired, blurry, red eyes - Orlando Sentinel : Features Monitor your tired, blurry, red eyes

Computer eye strain can cause a variety of problems ...

"For desk jockeys who ride a personal computer from the start of the daily rat race to the finish, seeing the world through habitually bleary eyes can become commonplace.

Some experts refer to it as computer-related eyestrain, while others say eyestrain is but one symptom of a larger hodgepodge of signs that make up what the American Optometric Association recognizes as "computer vision syndrome."

By any name, an estimated 10 million eye examinations each year in the United States largely are due to computer-related eye woes.

"The fact is that we are viewing electronic displays way more than we ever have, and this extended viewing [without breaks] creates this visual stress," says Jeffrey Anshel, author of Visual Ergonomics in the Workplace.

Though studies haven't found that long-term computer use produces permanent damage, anyone suffering from burning, watery, or dry eyes, or blurred or double vision knows that the intermittent discomfort and diminished work productivity demand attention.

What's happening

You might assume that harmful radiation beaming from your computer's video display is what wreaks havoc on your peepers. But, Anshel, a California optometrist, says no studies show that video-screen radiation does any lasting damage to the eyes.

Or you might think that shrouding your computer screen with colored tints protects and improves your vision. If so, Anshel says that studies suggest you're futilely looking through rose-colored glasses.

Those myths aside, Victor B. Thomas, a staff physician at Florida Hospital in Orlando, estimates that 75 percent of his patients older than 40 gripe about computer-related eye problems. And the constellation of complaints -- blurred or double vision, headaches, neck and back pain, and light sensitivity -- that brings in patients often can be pinned on two things: decreased blinking during computer use or improper or outdated eyeglass prescriptions."    (Continued via Orlando Sentinel)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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