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Harvard Commentaries
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Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Computers and Your Eyes


July 15, 2008

Workplace Health
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Computers and Your Eyes
Computers and Your Eyes
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Due to the dramatic increase in computer use -- not only in the workplace but also in the home -- complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort are common.
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Prevent Blindness America
2010-07-15

Prevent Blindness America

Frequently Asked Questions about Computers

Q: Can looking at computer screens damage my eyes?

No. While complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort are common among computer users, these symptoms are not caused by the computer screen itself. Computer screens give off little or no harmful radiation (such as X-rays or UV rays). All levels of radiation from computer screens are below levels that can cause eye damage such as cataracts.

Q: Can looking at a computer screen cause eyestrain?

Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing. You may also have symptoms of eyestrain if you need glasses or a change in your glasses.

Q: What can I do to prevent eyestrain?

You can help prevent eyestrain by making changes to your computer workspace and by visiting your eye doctor. Here are a few suggestions on how to make your workspace more comfortable:

  • Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.
  • Use a document holder placed next to your computer screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
  • Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your computer screen can also help.
  • Get a chair you can adjust.
  • Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.

For more information on eye problems, call Prevent Blindness America at 1-800-331-2020

Copyright © 2004 Prevent Blindness America ®
Current as of July 15, 2008

 

 

 

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