I'm a nerd! That's the root of my problem. I spend 14 hours per day in front of a screen - either a telephone, computer, TV, or tablet. But you are probably the same, right?
So your vision must be like mine - getting worse by the day. In this article I'm going to discuss how to preserve your vision when working at a computer and what you need to start doing so that you aren't as blind as a bat in five years.
After finding work in Moscow, I noticed that I spend a majority of the daytime looking at a screen. I was looking at my smartphone in the subway, computer at work, smartphone for the evening commute, and computer/TV at home.
You're lucky if you're a web designer and can count on high quality equipment at work and home. But what if you're not? I didn't want to find myself needing glasses by 30, since my vision has always been 20/20. So I decided to take steps to preserve my vision as long as I could.
A few simple techniques
The truth is, I will never be able to shake off my nerdiness. That's just the way it is. So I have instead concentrated on comfort and regular breaks. Here is what I have learned:
1. Work space
If you are a web designer, you need to have an expensive, high-quality monitor. You just can't get by without it. © Pretty obvious! Read here about how to select a good monitor. I bought Apple Cinema Display.
Web designers love working in the dark. They want to reduce glare. I think that is dumb and indicates people don't care about their vision. You see, the contrast between a bright monitor and dark background behind it forces your eye muscles to work several times harder and raises eye pressure. This, in turn, causes rapid eye fatigue, headaches, and glaucoma.
You can read more about this quite unpleasant disease here on Wikipedia.
Use the time-honored principle when choosing the location of your work station - it should be well lit. And you can't get by with just a desk lamp. They create light spots, which lead to myopia (near sightedness).
I use two 60 watt light bulbs for regular lighting (ceiling lights) and one 60 watt desk lamp behind my monitor to illuminate my work station.
Eating right helps guarantee the health of your whole body, including your eyes. Vitamins A, B and C help improve your vision. Carrots, tomatoes, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, rose hips, blueberries, nuts, liver, fish - these are all very healthy for your eyes.
Besides this, twice a year I recommend taking blueberry supplements. It can be extremely effective.
Besides tearing myself away from the monitor every hour and puttering around the office about 5-10 minutes (Lord forbid), I do the following eye relaxation exercises. I close my eyes tightly shut (for 3-5 seconds), then blink rapidly (5-7 seconds), and then close my eyes and lightly press on then with my fingers. This relieves fatigue and helps improve concentration.
Because of these simple techniques, I stopped feeling like I have grit in my eyes in the evenings.
Here's the real problem. I have been used to getting to bed no earlier than 2am since I was a teenager. When I was in college I could sleep in class. But after moving to Moscow, this no longer was an option. So I was working 9-10 hours and sleeping only 5 hours. This affected not just my physical health (stomach, eyes) but my mental health as well (anger, depression, exhaustion and melancholy).
This lifestyle could have led to more serious consequences, so I decided to change my sleeping schedule. And then my work schedule, if you get what I mean.
There are many studies that claim we should go to bed at 9pm and get up at 3am. This schedule is said to most effectively energize the nervous system and physical wellbeing, while sending nutrients to the eyes. But it's just not going to happen living in a big city. How can I go to sleep at 9pm if that's just when I am getting home? So I have adopted a schedule of sleeping from midnight to 8am.
After adopting all of these techniques, I have noticed I feel much better both mentally and physically. I am more productive and my eyes stopped hurting.
I think everyone needs to start paying more attention to their health. What do you do to maintain your wellbeing?