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By Abbie Geigle
Do you ever find yourself rubbing your eyes, blinking repeatedly, and looking away from your computer screen at work?  If so, you may be experiencing eyestrain.  The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) says as more and more workers stare at their computers and monitors for hours a day, side effects from eye strain are becoming much more common.  These side effects include blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes, and frequent blinking.
For most people, eyestrain happens when they are focusing too much on a screen and not blinking enough.  To help relieve eye strain, you may want to try and blink more or even use artificial tears.  Other tips include:
  • Make sure your work space is properly lit.  If you need to, close the blinds to prevent glare and avoiding fluorescent lights.
  • To help decrease glare, place an anti-glare screen on your monitor and paint the walls a dark color.
  • Remember to take regular rest breaks throughout the work day.  These breaks will help your eyes relax.
  • Position your monitor about 20-26 inches away from your eyes.
  • If the text on the monitor is too small, adjust the size until it is comfortable to read.
Eye Exams
If you are younger than 40 years old, AOA recommends seeing an eye doctor at least every other year.  On the other hand, those older than 40 should make annual appointments with their eye doctor.
There are three different kinds of eye specialists who can perform eye exams:
  • Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who provide full-service eye care, which includes eye exams, corrective vision prescriptions, and diagnosis and treatment of complex eye diseases and surgeries.
  • Optometrists are specialists who perform many of the same services as ophthalmologists, including vision evaluation, corrective vision prescription, and diagnosis and treatment of selective eye disorders. For more serious or complex problems, such as those requiring surgery, an optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist.
  • Opticians are specialists who fill prescriptions for eyeglasses and, in some cases, contact lenses. Opticians not only sell these products, but will also assemble them and fit them for you.
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