Too much screen time, not enough blinking: what every computer user should know

July 8, 2013 7:44 pm

eye strain in computer

Did you know? The most common health problems related to computer usage are vision defects and wrist injuries.

Not Blinking Enough Causes Dry Eyes

eye strain in computer

A reduction in frequency of blinking can result in dry eyes, tearing, irritation, ache or a burning sensation in the eyes.
A person normally blinks around 20 times per minute. This is sufficient for the eyes to be replenished with tears, and also gets rid of unwanted debris.
This is reduced by as much as 7.5 blinks per minute when you are concentrating on your computer screen – less than half the average!
Your eyes are relatively at rest and relaxed when you look in the distance, but the muscles in your eyes have to work harder to keep a near focus while doing near work.
Is Squinting Bad for Your Eyes?

eye strain

A new study also reveals squinting at a computer screen can reduce the frequency of blinking by as much as 50%. The data obtained suggest that the more participants squinted, the less they blinked.
People squint voluntarily or involuntarily, usually while reading a book, watching TV or surfing the Internet. Squinting serves to improve eyesight by giving a clear definition of objects that are out of focus, and reduces the glare.
Focusing too much on your computer screen plus squinting is a sure-fire recipe for eye strain and dry eyes.
Give Your Eyes A Break

eye strain

 Here are some easy-to-do tips:

  • Lower your computer screen so that the centre of the screen is 4 to 8 inches below your eye level. The viewing distance should be 20 to 28 inches away from your computer screen.
  • Avoid swinging your head back and forth or constantly changing your eye focus, if possible.
  • Change your lighting to lower glare and avoid harsh reflections.
  • Low humidity can worsen a dry eye condition.
  • Whenever you start feeling the symptoms of dry or irritated eyes, blink!
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule.  It means taking frequent breaks. Look away every 20 minutes beyond 20 feet and blink 20 times.
  • Lubricate your eyes using artificial tears (as recommended by your doctor).


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