LCD screen fatigue? Just take a rest, says eye expert

By Alexander Villafania

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA—While there is no correlation between eye damage and constant use of brightly-lit LCD screens, eye doctors still caution people from keeping their eyes fixed on the screen for prolonged periods.

Many of today’s white collared workers are using computers for a variety of uses. Office workers would most likely be on their screens at least half of their working hours.

Contact center workers, in particular, are always on the screens while responding to customer calls. Prolonged use of screens does cause eye strain, which reduces productivity as workers tend to focus on the eye concern.

Eye strain is common among those working at the office where they have to look at computers a lot more often, said Dr. Joel Javier, an ophthalmologist and head of the Philippine office of eye care products company Bausch + Lomb

He also noted that air conditioning also causes the eyes to dry up quickly.

Dr. Javier listed a few tips on how office workers and even those who use brightly-lit mobile Internet devices can care for their eyes.

1. Blink – Blinking allows tears to be spread across the entire eye, thus keeping it well lubricated. This is also effective when working in air conditioned places as cold environments tend to dry up eyes quicker. While there is no prescription as to the number of times a person should blink, it should be  often as comfortable for a person.

2. Take breaks – Prolonged exposure to computer monitors does not seem to have any real long-term effects on the eyes, except that they do cause eye strain. Dr. Javier recommends breaks of about five minutes for every 20 to 30 minutes of LCD exposure. There is no such thing as eye exercise though resting the eyes is needed.

3. Hydrate – Drinking at least eight glasses of water keeps you hydrated. Tear ducts also need liquids so drinking water helps keep the eyes lubricated.

4. Diet – As Dr. Javier pointed out, nothing compares to a good diet. Fruits and vegetables rich in natural vitamins and minerals help keep the body strong and healthy. If you are already eating the right amount of healthy foods then there is little need for vitamins for the eyes.

5. Check with your ophthalmologist – While it is more common to hear for people to see their doctors or dentists twice a year, Dr. Javier said this should also apply when checking up with your eye specialist. Regular visits will help maintain your eyesight and detect any problems early on.

6. Check monitor brightness – It is only common sense to adjust your monitor’s brightness. Too much light will cause eye strain while too little light will make it harder for the eye to adjust. Knowing the best viewing experience means letting your eyes see if it is already comfortable to look at the screen.

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