Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 Ways to Avoid Computer-related Eye Strain in the Classroom


In this increasingly digital world, more and more teachers and students are spending massive amounts of time in front of computers and other digital devices. All that focusing in front of the screen can lead to eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a growing medical condition that impacts many people who spend at least two hours a day in front of a computer. From headaches and fatigue to annoying eye twitches, computer-related eye strain and CVS can take their toll on productivity in both the classroom and the workplace. How can you reduce the risk? 

Here are some tips on helping teachers and their students avoid computer eye strain.

1. Get an eye exam
First and foremost, the easiest way to set yourself and your students up for good eye health is seeing an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam regularly. The eye doctor should be made aware of how many hours a day the patient is in front of a computer so he or she can assess the risk for eye strain and help find ways to ease any symptoms already being experienced.

2. Position yourself and students correctly
Proper positioning at desks or work stations can be key when it comes to reducing eye strain. If students have poor posture or are hunching over to look at their computers, it can strain the eyes. Adjust their chairs so they are at a comfortable height in relation to their computer monitors. The center of their screens should be approximately ten to fifteen degrees below their eyes to avoid strain. If a student wears eyeglasses, make sure the eyeglass frames fit properly. If the student is peering over the glasses or tilting his or her head, it’s an indication the frames might be loose or crooked.  Likewise, don’t forget to follow all the same rules while you use your electronic devices.
3. Ensure proper lighting
Eye strain is often caused by improper lighting. Unfortunately, most classrooms and offices are lit with overhead fluorescent lights that can lead to eye strain if too bright. Whenever possible, avoid harsh, bright overhead lighting and opt for the softer light of desk or floor lamps instead. Make sure the light is shining on the desks, not on you or your students. Also, position screens so lighting from overhead bulbs or a nearby window isn’t causing a glare or reflection on the screens.
4. Wear eyeglasses with anti-glare protection
Recommending your students invest in a pair of 
eyeglasses with anti-glare protection on the lenses may be worthwhile. An anti-glare coating applied to lenses reduces the amount of light that gets reflected off the lens, causing less glare and allowing more light to pass through. This gives the eyes a break and reduces strain. These kinds of eyeglasses are also ideal for innovative educators who spend long periods of time in front of screens.
5. Schedule frequent breaks
Whether your class is working on screens for several hours trying to finish up a project or they have an assignment where all their tasks are completed on a computer, having their eyes glued to monitors with no refuge is a sure way to strain them. Schedule breaks for your class to look away from their screens every 20 minutes or so and focus their eyes on something else. Also, remind them to blink a lot so their eyes stay moisturized.

These simple measures are an easy and effective way to give your and your students’ eyes a break so everyone can avoid the symptoms of eye strain and CVS. Being more comfortable during the work or school day will lead to better productivity and overall happiness.

This post is courtesy of LensCrafters.
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