Do you ever rub your eyes after sitting at the computer? Its because they are tired, dry and possibly straining. Start using the 20-20-20 rule when working at a screen for a long time.

Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will encourage your eyes to relax and shift your focus from near to distance. You can also blink 20 times to encourage your eyes to produce tears to lubricate the eye.

Eyes get tired when looking at the same distance all the time. You want to improve your "visual hygiene" by shifting your focus distance as often as possible. If you're facing a wall you can achieve this by putting a mirror on it and looking at the reflection of a distant object. When you stop typing or reading to think about something, get in the habit of looking out the window and focusing on something - leaves on a tree or similar.

Some people find that their focus tires quickly on computers or Ipads and they start focusing slightly behind what they are trying to look at. New "active" or office lenses have an extra bit of power at the bottom of their lenses to help reduce fatigue and improve your vision.

You also need to remember to blink more often. If your talking to someone or looking at far away objects, you normally blink 30 - 40 times per minute. When you start reading close-up, your blinking naturally slows to 3-5 times per minute. One of the functions of blinking is to refresh your tears and help get rid of old tears. If you are looking at a computer for many hours, you therefore have to remember to blink more often - some people even have blink exercise programs to help them remember.

Many people also use a "lubricant" once or twice a day especially if working in air conditioned offices. It is important to not let your eyes get too gritty as this irritates the eyes which affects tear production and starts a deteriorating cycle of dry eye. Lubricants can help break this cycle - ask for more advice at your local Mackey Opticians.

Computer screens have recently been found to emit blue light not dissimilar to UV light from the sun. This may cause fatigue which can lead to problems such as eye strain or twitching. Reduce the amount of blue light reaching your eyes by getting your next pair of spectacle lenses coated with a computer specific "blue-light" coating which reduces the amount of blue light getting to your eyes and preventing these issues. This also comes with anti-reflection, anti-scratch and oliophobic (easy-clean) layers.

Some employers help towards the cost of lenses for computer use so be sure to find out before your next appointment.

Call in to your local Mackey Opticians and ask about our computer coating!

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