Tips for Taking Care of Your Eyes while Computing


Eyes are important, why? I don’t have to tell you. Usually people spend 1-3 hours on computers every day, but when it comes to computer professionals (especially freelancers) the time spent on a computer spikes up to 8-10 or in my case 12-13 hours a day.

Monitors, LCD, plasma and all kinds of screens can damage your eyes to irreparable extent… if you don’t use them smartly.

There’s a thing called 20-20-20 rule for eye care. I’ll cover that, but that alone is not enough, so even if you know about that, read on to prevent yourself from Computer Vision Syndrome a.k.a. CVS.

thumbnail courtesy: Children Hospital   

The problem is, that in conventional monitors, there’s a device called “picture tube” which throws a mass of electrons on to the screen to produce the image. Electrons stick to the screen but ‘photons’ pass right through it and hit our eyes. They cause ample lifelong damage. We can avoid this by following the basic rules of ergonomics (if you don’t know what ergonomics is, it is defined just a few lines later).

Symptoms of CVS

Image taken from Computer Vision Syndrome

These Days, LCD screens and almost all other kinds of monitors as well are based on digital technology, which means that image is produced by several hundred thousand tiny pixels. When we see an image on our screen, we just see an image but actually our eyes are trying to focus on every pixel independently. We don’t realize that because that’s something our eyes doing unintentionally, that’s kind of a reflex action and you can’t do anything to stop it. Your eyes will keep on trying to focus refocus again and again on each of the pixels. This also causes a great deal of damage to the eyes.


break reminder app

You may have heard of this. This is a three step process:

Step 1: After working for 20 minutes on the computer, look away.

Step 2: Look away for 20 seconds.

Step 3: For 20 seconds look at an object at least 20 feet away. Well, according to doctors you should look at an object 22 feet away, but 20-20-22 doesn’t sound that intriguing.

Step 3 (alternative): It is considered even better if you can walk 20 paces after every 20 minutes of work, This regulates the blood circulation throughout the body and also prevents backache.

You must follow this rule. There are many free apps which you can use to remind you of your exercise after every 20 minutes, here are a couple:


 Additional Tips

Ergonomics is the science of arranging furniture in best possible manner to obtain the highest amount of productivity. Here’s a little video that should equip you with essential ergonomics knowledge.


1. Rinse your eyes and splash water on your face regularly.

2. Blink often (my doc says, blink like a confused little girl) when you are working on your computer. Eyes need a lot of moisture when they are working on digital monitors.

3. Light source (bulb, tube light, etc.) should be behind the monitor so you don’t see its reflection in the screen.

4. If you wear glasses, get “anti reflective” lens installed in them.

5. Eat fresh vegetables and fruit, especially carrots and apples.

6. That concludes the article today, but if you like such health tips, do comment. I’ll always bring you a well researched article full of facts and tips.

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  1. Su Hall October 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I had never heard of doing these things! Well, I never pursued it, either. I do feel that my screen hurts my eyes when I have been on it for a while, so, I do step away. It’s not hard with little ones around, anyway. As far as taking these other steps, thank you. Now, I know what to do! I can start by visiting my eye doc, which is long over due!
    Again, Thank You!!


    1. Tayyab October 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

      You’re most welcome.

      I hope your doc says that you’re eyes are as good as an eagle’s. 🙂

  2. jr0131 October 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I have been concerned but have not taken the time to research it! I really appreciate that you wrote this!

    1. Tayyab October 31, 2012 at 7:42 am

      We’re usually so busy that we rarely get time to research such matters, even I learned the lesson after hurting my eyes.
      Glad to know that you are concerned about your eyes and my article was useful.

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