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I have read in some sources (sorry, can't remember which), and also been told by my employer-assigned doctor (I can find the doctor again if needed), that it is "important" for people who work at desks in front of computer screens turn their eyes away from the monitor for five minutes every hour.

Since this is so disruptive to my type of work pattern, I would like to verify if it really helps my eyes.

  • 2
    This needs a reference. Please spend some time searching for an authoritative source making that claim. – denten Mar 28 '13 at 23:46
  • @denten Ok, I will; but man, this site is hard to use. – martin jakubik Mar 29 '13 at 11:26
  • @martinjakubik: Really? Read the about page and the FAQ. You'll even get badges for that. :-) – Reinstate Monica - M. Schröder Mar 29 '13 at 17:37
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There are more problems which can occur from "staring" on screen.

  1. Eye discomfort
  2. Headaches
  3. Itchy eyes
  4. Dry or watering eyes
  5. Burning sensations
  6. Changes in color perception
  7. Blurred vision
  8. Difficulty focussing (1, 2, 3)

Ways to minimise damage to your eyes caused by computer screens There are several ways you can minimise the potential damage to your eyes caused by looking at computer screens.

Firstly, it is important to set up your computer screen so that it is in the correct position in relation to your eyes.

As previously mentioned, the top of the screen should be in line with your eye level. In addition, the screen should be placed approximately 18-30 inches from you.

The screen should also be tilted slightly back – between 10 to 15 degrees depending on the person’s particular preference. This is so that you do not receive glare from lights in the ceiling. (3, 7)

Glare can also be avoided by placing blinds over nearby windows, or using a glare screen. (2, 5)

In addition to adjusting the position of your screen, you can also minimise eye problems by simply blinking more frequently.

Many people don’t realise that they actually blink less when they look at a screen. (2)

Blinking is important, however, as it washes your eyes in their naturally therapeutic fluids. (5)

It is also important to take breaks from looking at your screen. One easy way to remember this is to think of 20-20-20. This reminds you that every 20 minutes you should try to look at something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. (5)

It is also recommended to take breaks from your screen altogether, in particular every 2 hours. (2)

Does looking at a computer damage your eyes?

there are many links to find mentioning a "20-20-20 rule."

e.g.
Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief
How to Keep Computer Screens From Destroying Your Eyes

  • 4
    Looking quickly through the sources you cite, and in turn their citations, I don't see any citation of original research that backs up these claims. Are there any? The claims seem very plausible, but that of course does not mean they are true. – Croad Langshan Apr 1 '13 at 15:25

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