Yesterday I paid a visit to my optician, Specsavers. They were offering free eyesight tests, and I wanted to get mine checked out. In the past, I would have had a free check through my work but now I am ‘on my own’ and do not get these health benefits anymore.
Apart from the offer of a free eye test, I use computers an awful lot, sometimes more than 12 hours a day. This means that I often get dry eyes and by the end of the day, my eyes can be quite painful.
This is a sad by-product of working in the IT industry for a number of years. I used to put it down to the air-conditioned office – certainly a factor as it dries out the air, and so dries out your eyes. But now I realise it is due to the concentrated effort you need to keep looking at a computer screen.
Normally your eyes will keep themselves in tip-top condition, and part of the in-built protection is blinking. Apart from wiping any dirt off the surface of the eye, this also ensures the eye is kept moist.
The other effect of using computer screens too much is the constant short distance focusing. This causes the muscles in the eye that focuses the lens to get tired. They are always in use and being held in the same fixed position. Imagine trying to do a plank for 10 minutes.
Make sure you blink your eyes
When using a computer, you will probably need to consciously make sure you are doing this. A brain in deep thought will keep the eyes open far too long, causing them to dry out over time.
Focus on something at a distance every 10 minutes
This allows the eye muscles to relax rather than spending all day focused at a short distance.
In the future I’m sure we will see an increase in the number of eye problems as people use computers, iPhones and other technology much more.
So, how was my eye test?
As expected, my eyesight is slowly failing. Not by much – my long distance eyesight is still perfect, but my short distance eyesight is slowly failing. I can compensate at the moment, as it’s not too bad, but my eyes get too tired at the end of the day.
Perhaps a result of increasing age, but more likely the constant, daily use of computers over the last 20 years. I hope all those bloggers who probably spend long periods of time on the computer will at least take a break every 10 minutes and make sure they blink their eyes regularly.
People will normally blink about 10 times a minute, but I know from personal experience that computer use can reduce my blink rate to as low as once a minute. Far too long, and the main reason, I feel, that my eyes are starting to fail.