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Staring at a backlit screen has become an almost inescapable
part of life in the early 21st century
According to VisionCare
NSW, more than half a million Australians are vision-impaired by
the age of 40, and about three quarters of these cases are preventable.
So what's behind these stats? Something called refractive error has
to take a lot of the blame. The name might sound vaguely cool, but
it's not something you want as a friend. Refractive error is what
happens when light doesn't focus properly inside the eye. And staring
at a backlit screen, whether it's on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone,
is a very common day-to-day culprit for refractive error.
Staring at a backlit screen has become an almost inescapable part of
life in the early 21st century. So much of your TAFE studies probably
involve online research. And then there's the actual typing up of your
assignments - more time staring at a screen (especially if you're a
slow typer). And that's not even mentioning time spent on social
networking sites. At this rate, we might all be wearing specs
by the time we're 40.
Not to worry. There's plenty of things you can do to look after your
eyes that are simple, easy and won't cost you a cent. Here's a couple
Excessively bright light isn't great for your eyes, especially over a
lengthy period of time. When you're in front of your computer screen,
try to set the ambient (surrounding) light at roughly half that of the
average fluroscent-lit office environment.
Blinking is important because it keeps your eyes from drying out. But
when you're staring at a computer screen you only blink at about a
third the usual rate. So every 20 minutes or so, slowly blink your
eyes 10 times as if falling asleep.
Focusing intently on your computer screen can be like boot camp for
your eyes. Try what eye doctors sometimes call the 20-20-20 rule.
Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus on something
that's about 20 feet (six metres) away for about 20 seconds. This will
relax your eyes' focusing muscles.