Geeks. Nerds. Dorks. It used to be so easy to make fun of them, hunched over their keyboards, noses mere inches from the monitor, so thoroughly absorbed in conversing with a machine, the building could collapse around them and they’d just keep typing away.
Now we have become them, eyes locked on flickering screens hour after hour. And we’re paying for it.
Blurred vision. Dry eyes. Double vision. Red eyes. Dizziness. Headaches. Back aches. Neck aches. Modern medicine has seen fit to lump these under the acronym “CVS”, aka Computer Vision Syndrome.
It’s not fatal, but it is exhausting and can definitely make a substantial dent in your quality of life at work and at play. There are somewhat effective countermeasures, assuming you remember to use them.
The “20-20-20 rule” suggests you look away from the screen every 20 minutes, then look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Easy enough. Just set an alarm to go off every twenty minutes, stare at something twenty feet away and count to twenty. Of course, you might find your concentration isn’t what it used to be. And if that something you’ve chosen to stare at happens to be a someone, you might get written off by your co-workers as weird and by your company as unemployable.
There’s also the “high-five-test” which states if you can’t high-five in front of your computer without hitting the screen, you’re sitting too close to it. Since it’s common to creep closer while you work, you’re advised to high-five every once in a while to recheck your position. If you have a private office, no problem. If you’re working in a public area, you will be judged ridiculous, insane or politically disruptive.
The beauty of using computer glasses at work is that you need only remember to wear them. Their anti-reflective coating will reduce the glare coming from the screen. Tinted lenses enhance contrast and also reduce glare. If they’re photochromic, (the kind that darken in response to sunlight), they will shield your eyes from high-energy blue light emitted by your computer screen. And your eye doctor will be able to prescribe lenses that give you optimum comfort while working. Besides that, computer glasses, especially the tinted ones, tend to make the wearer look kinda cool.