Computers = eye strain? I spend a lot of time in front of a computer monitor, both at work and at home. Before I log off at night, I often find my eyes feel tired and/or dry. Should I use eye drops, or do I need to get a life away from my computers? Is st

Working . Working at a computer screen for long hours is very tough on the eyes, for two separate reasons: 1) when you concentrate on computer work, most people blink less than they should. Under normal conditions, the average person blinks once every 5 seconds, but when using a computer, many people blink only every 8-10 seconds. This can cause the eyes to feel dry and become red and irritated. The solution is to rest the eyes throughout the day, if only for a few minutes each hour. Eye drops will not help much. Fish or flaxseed oil pills (omega-3's) help a great deal by making the tears a little thicker. 2) if you are over 40, you might benefit from reading glasses while working at the computer. Oftentimes, the reading glasses sold in the drugstore (no prescription needed) will do the trick.
When . When staring at the computer screen, your eyes may dry out. In addition to resting your eyes, you can also try over-the-counter artificial tears while working at the computer. Also try to remember to blink when working at the computer. If you have eye strain and over 40, you may need a prescription for glasses to work at the computer. The reading distance is a little further than the distance for reading books, so an intermediate reading prescription may be needed. If you do not use prescription distance glasses normally, you can also use over-the-counter reading glasses. I recommend patients to try on different powers, and see which ones are most clear at the distance they normally sit from their computer screen.