What the Yuck: Will staring at a computer make me blind?
August 26th, 2011
07:31 AM ET

What the Yuck: Will staring at a computer make me blind?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

I stare at my computer for at least 14 hours a day. Am I going to go blind?

Staring at a computer screen can certainly cause eyestrain and fatigue, but you won't go blind. Instead, your eyes may feel tired or you may get eye pain or headaches. And of course, squinting may lead to wrinkles.

There are a few things you can do to help your eyes out. Look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes or so to give your eyes a break. Just glance outside or down the hall for about 20 seconds; repeat that move throughout the day.

To minimize eye and neck pain, position your computer screen so it's slightly below eye level; the ideal distance between you and the screen is 20 to 28 inches. At that position, you shouldn't have to lean forward or strain your neck to see the screen. Adjust the location or angle of your computer screen so that there isn't any glare, or get an anti-glare filter. Glare on a screen makes your eyes have to work even harder.

Of course, it's important to see your eye doctor once a year to check for changes in your eyesight and update your glasses and contacts accordingly. Depending on your needs, he might even prescribe some reading glasses to use, particularly when you're working on the computer.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

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