How to treat your eyes right when working at computer

When doing computer or other close-up work, give your eyes a 15-second rest every 15 to 20 minutes. Focus on a distant object, massage the area around your eyes, or walk away from your desk.

Remind yourself to blink. Concentrating intently on a computer screen can interfere with the normal blinking reflex. (Staring at a terminal may also speed up tear evaporation, which contributes to dry eyes.) The longer you go without blinking, the drier and more uncomfortable your eyes may become. This is a particular concern for anyone who wears contact lenses.

Ask your eye-care specialist about glasses specially designed for computer users. Also, find out about a lens coating that cuts down on light reflection.

Consult an eye specialist if you repeatedly experience headaches, blurred vision, stinging sensations in the eyes, or other forms of eyestrain.

The visual angle between eyes and monitor should be between 15 and 20 degrees below horizontal. With most monitors, the top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. Arrange your chair and monitor accordingly. You may want to tilt the monitor back, unless this creates glare.

Spend some time adjusting your screen for image quality, viewing distance, and viewing angle. Have the monitor repaired if the image is blurry, dull, or flickering.

When you type or work closely from printed materials, keep the pages on a stand at the same height as your monitor. This will help to minimize the amount of refocusing the eyes must do.

Dust your computer screen frequently. Wipe gently with a slightly damp rag.

Buy desks with matte rather than shiny finishes so that they don’t reflect overhead light.

Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder. This can create or intensify neck or back pain.

Whenever a phone conversation lasts more than 10 minutes, move around to work your muscles as you talk or listen. Lean back and lean forward; stand up and sit down.

Consider getting a headset if you spend a lot of time on the phone, especially if you type or write as you talk. A headset may prevent a stiff neck.

For a less expensive alternative, get a shoulder rest. Be sure to switch ears often.