Scott's Health Tips:
Health Tip #28, 16 April 1997
Yesterday was my twentieth birthday, so I guess itís a little ironic that lately Iíve been regressing back to the time of my tenth birthday, half my lifetime ago, when I played Nintendo games at my best friendís house and arcade games down at the mall and the pizza parlor. This weekend Gabe Lai introduced me to the latest Nintendo emulator for Windows 95, and on the Internet Iíve been finding a bunch of WAV, MOD, and JPG files that are bringing back other old video game memories. So what the hellís my point, you ask? Well, this has reminded me how our generation has been playing video games, watching television, and using personal computers for just about our entire lives. Thatís a lot of strain on the eyes! So, you ask, what do I do to reduce eyestrain?
Remember the amber or green monitors that our old Apple //e and other computers had? They are actually the best for our eyes! In general, though, with modern monitors you should adjust the colors so that the letters are at least five times brighter than the background. Change the font sizes so that capital letters are at least 1/8" high.
Avoid overhead fluorescent light because of how the flickering (60 times / second, too fast for us to see) interacts with the monitorís flickering.
You should reposition the angle of the monitor and change the roomís lighting if you feel any blurred vision, headaches, or irritation coming on. Even better, buy one of those anti-glare filters that you can hang in front of the monitor.
Make sure to rest your eyes by looking elsewhere every once in awhile, at least two minutes per hour. Also, blink fairly often so that your tears can lubricate and massage your eyes. You can also use eye drops from the OTC racks at the pharmacies.
You might want to consider special glasses for use while you are working at the computer. Certain bifocals can be harmful to your neck if they cause you to tilt your head and an uncomfortable angle.
You can buy "eyebright tea" (actually a mixture of herbal ingredients) from health food stores that will help your eyes if you soak a towel with it and then put it on your face for 10-15 minutes (though be careful not to get the tea actually in your eyes).
"Take Care of Yourself", by Donald Vickery and James Fries.
"Doctor's Book of Home Remedies", by Sid Kirchheimer.
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