Dr. Larry Wan has been an optometrist for 25 years and with an office in the heart of Silicon Valley, he has a special interest in vision and computers. Computers are a major cause of eye strain and dry eye, and the problem is getting worse.
On July 18, 2011, Dr. Wan was interviewed on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, an Internet radio talk show hosted by Sharon Kleyne (Nature's Tears® EyeMist®) focusing on water, dehydration and health issues, including dry eye, computers and occupation health.
Computers, according to Dr. Wan, retard the eyes' normal reflexive blink rate. Most people blink around 30 times a minute, or 10,000 times a day. During intense computer use this can drop to as little as five times a minute. Each blink replenishes the moisture in the eye's tear film and prolonged periods of insufficient blinking can cause the tear film to dehydrate.
Dry regions (such as Arizona) are worse than humid regions for dry eye caused by computers, and indoor conditions can be even worse on the eyes than outdoor dryness. In an effort to make buildings more energy efficient, designers too often make them less livable. Forced-air heating and cooling, and insulated walls and windows, are extremely dehydrating. Airliners are even worse for your eyes because of low humidity, recirculated air and crowding.
"We want and need computers," says Dr. Wan, "but we must learn to live with them and maintain our eye health. The answer is proactive eye health education and a healthy lifestyle."
Computers are a different distance from the eyes than books, so glasses might need to be changed to accommodate this. Also, a computer image consists of thousands of dots (pixels), to which the eye must constantly adjust to keep the images in focus. In a book, the eyes mostly look at sharp, black and white lines. As a result, when working on a computer, the cilliary muscles in the eye that keeps objects in focus are readjusting constantly, which can be very tiring.
To prevent computer eye strain and computer related dry eye, Larry Wan suggests good lighting, the correct eyeglasses, good posture (to prevent shoulder soreness and headaches), good lighting (not fluorescent), minimized glare, and positioning yourself to look down on the screen. The screen should be slightly more than an arm's length away. He recommends a flat panel rather than a tube screen.
Also, follow the "20/20"rule - take a 20 second break every 20 minutes in which you look away from the screen.
And don't forget, says the eye doctor, to configure your computers so that children can also use them comfortably, especially with respect to the "arm's length" rule.
For a comprehensive list of tips on proactive steps to minimize or prevent dry eye, computer eye strain and computer eye fatigue, go to www.naturestears.com. The website for Dr. Wan's optometrist office is www.stanleyeyecare.com.
The only all-natural pH balanced water mist application designed especially to soothe dry eye and computer eye fatigue is Sharon Kleyne's product, Nature's Tears EyeMist, which sponsors the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water. Nature's Tears EyeMist is available on www.Amazon.com under "Computer Accessories."
Listen to the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water Mondays, 10 a.m., PST/PDT. The syndicated talk radio show is heard on Voice America/World Talk Radio, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunes. Go to www.SharonKleyneHour.com for written summaries and replays of past shows. Also visit www.naturestears.com, whatistheeye.wordpress.com, "Nature's Tears EyeMist" on Facebook and "Bio-Logic Aqua" on Twitter.
© 2011 Bio-Logic Aqua Research