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112 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 180745 20-Sep-2015 18:22
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Like most people here I look at pc & mobile screen allot as they continually become more central to our lives. I am not currently in a deskjob, I would say at the moment I spend about 4 hours a night in-front of the computer. On days off this sometimes reaches a total of 10 hours non continuous. I notice eye strain which I assume is only natural after steering at a screen for such time?

I used to be in a 100% computer orientated job and I could not stand the combination of being forced to sit there or look at a screen 8 hours a day, I also don't believe it was efficient or practical. At that time I would also spend the night on the computer. 

I am currently looking for another job and actively avoiding full time computer orientated work for this reason and the fact I feel if I am in a full time pc orientated job I will probably go blind. 

Just interested to know other peoples experiences? Are some people simply more capable of steering at screens all day? Is it something wrong with me? What can be done to avoid eye strain? (I use to try and look away from the screen for 2 minutes every 15 minutes. I also ensured screen was slightly brighter than background lighting.)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390704 20-Sep-2015 18:28
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I am a Linux Systems Administrator by trade so my job is in front of a computer. I however have an app (Workrave: which tells me to take micro breaks, do exercises etc which helps immensely. I also walk around the office instead of just chatting to people if they need help.

I don't think 40+ hours in front of a computer is a bad thing as long as you take micro breaks. 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1390722 20-Sep-2015 19:04
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Take breaks, get a wheelie chair if you don't already have one, don't look at your screen when you're thinking (unless you need to), etc.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390734 20-Sep-2015 19:44
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Getting my first real job - 40 hours+ a week in front of a computer - was what ruined my eyes. And my Olympian physique. But hey, all the jobs have their hazards.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390741 20-Sep-2015 19:52
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I found 70hrs per week was to much for my eyes starting at spreadsheets. I requested an upgrade to a 19" monitor to help. That was ten years ago. Now i spend my time looking at either a 8.3" or 5.5" screen.
Have you had your eyes checked? You can get anti-glare coating for your lenses if you need glasses.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390742 20-Sep-2015 19:52
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plenty of information on th net I suggest you do some research. Try here for a start. Talk to your employer as they need to be aware of it as it is recognised by ACC.

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  Reply # 1390748 20-Sep-2015 20:18
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My personal experience is that eyestrain is very dependent on the environment and other activities during the the day. Microbreaks are essential. Windows are essential. Natural light is essential. Right size monitor for the work is important. If these are not present then it is necessary to compensate in some way for example with outdoor walks for natural light, standing by a window for a break etc.

I used to do a simple exercise changing focus continuously, if possible slowly through close, medium, far objects. That really helped restore/improve because there is a tendency to get a fixed focus at screen distance and get pretty bad outside that range ; ). It took a while for improvement but was effective.

Working with different equipment like changing monitor just for a change and no other reason is a good thing as well in this context. Anything to break/change the habits of eyesight being fixed in stone.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390750 20-Sep-2015 20:29
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Also get professional eye exam to make sure nothing is seriously wrong or changing. If nothing else it is very reassuring to know. There are possible biological physical factors and they are trained to check for them.

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  Reply # 1390756 20-Sep-2015 20:50
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Glasses can help - something to help the constant near focusing and reduce the glare.

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  Reply # 1390941 21-Sep-2015 09:01
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Been staring at screens most of my working life (20yrs) , and not had any issues yet, and thats also with a large amount of time in front of one in my own time.

But I'm generally in well lit (natural and artificial) environments, with the monitors at the right height/distance and do take breaks from it every so often.

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  Reply # 1390943 21-Sep-2015 09:04
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Do your workplace provide some employees incentives or benefits? Perhaps chat with your manager or HR (or H&S) to see if they could provide eye check?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1390958 21-Sep-2015 09:24
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My eyes don't seem to have been affected by sitting in front of a computer for 24 years now. Maybe in the early days of crt monitors my eyes would feel a little sore on occasion but with improving monitor tech that is no longer an issue. 

One thing , I have a dual monitor setup and the second monitor is further away so i'm constantly refocusing between monitors which I think might help in keeping the focusing in shape. 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1390980 21-Sep-2015 09:55
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Whenever I have to read a long document (Like a spec, I'm a software developer) I always prefer to print it out instead of reading it on the screen.
Maybe wastes a bit of paper but it gives me a bit of a break from looking at the screen all the time.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1391108 21-Sep-2015 11:50
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As a self-employed writer and fairly intense computer hobbyist for many years (lots of assembly programming and hex code debugging) I never experienced any adverse effects from all-night 16 hour sessions squinting at green crt monitors. Now I am retired, 70+, and in just the past couple of years my eyes have really started bothering me and I have a chronic case of persistent RSI. I switched to a 42 inch HDMI TV for the eyestrain but it hasn't helped. My takeaway is that it is a lot like smoking. While you are young and bulletproof you don't notice anything. By the time you do it is already too late.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1391125 21-Sep-2015 12:17
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My first pair of glasses were not corrective, they were flat glass with the optic coating to reduce glare.  This made a huge difference to eye irritation (and it made me look smarter laughing).

As others have said - micro pauses are essential. 
Can you stare out a window or across the office at something (not someoneinnocent) further away? 

Can you break up your day with non-screen tasks?

Hydration helps too.  Can you kill two birds with one stone and regularly walk to the tearoom for a drink of water?

Is your monitor functioning correctly?

Do you wear sunglasses outside?  Good quality sunglasses protect your eyes. Dirty/low clarity sunglasses irritate them.

How much screen time do you do outside of work - devices, TV etc?  It all counts.

Absolutely get your eyes tested.  It's cheap, and it checks for some quite serious eye conditions.


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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1391622 22-Sep-2015 04:13
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Taking breaks is highly recommended, but I've also heard you can get eye-wear which protects your vision if you're staring at a screen all day. Could be marketing hogwash, but if it's the real deal it could be exactly what you're looking for?

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