Keeping Your Eyes Healthy During Your Online High School Program
Posted on October 09 2012
One Facebook status goes, “Kudos and two thumbs up to my monitor, for staring at my face all day and not wanting to throw itself out the window.”
This might be a little extreme. Even if you are working to earn your high school diploma online, you won’t be facing your monitor day in and day out. That is, if you are able to space your lessons properly. But enrolling in an online high school will mean more hours in front of the computer.
It would do well for you to exercise good eye health habits. This will ensure that facing your computer for an extended time will not result in eye problems for you later on. This way, you can continue with your online high school education and still protect your eyes from potential damage.
Here are some helpful tips from the American Optometric Association:
- Maintain proper distance and posture. Ideally, you should be about 18 to 25 inches away from the screen. Use an ergonomic chair that you can easily adjust so that from your position, you are looking down at the screen. Tilting the monitor a bit can get rid of glare and reflections that can result in eyestrain.
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule. This rule states that every 20 minutes that you are working and looking at your screen, stop and take 20 seconds at something that is 20 feet away. This will help rest the muscles that are in charge of focusing.
- Get your eyes checked. Go for regular eye exams, especially if you have started working on your computer in earnest. Ideally, you should go to your eye doctor every year. This will help nip eye problems at the bud.
- Check your monitor’s settings. Aside from getting a good-sized computer monitor, ensure that the right settings are selected in terms of brightness, contrast and text size. These settings should make it easy to read text and look at photos. The monitor’s brightness should be roughly that of your surroundings. The text size, according to experts, should be thrice the smallest size that is still readable to you. Choose backgrounds that provide a high contrast to the text.
- Check the lighting. You can adjust the lighting in your study area so that it matches the light provided by the screen. The light should be provided by low intensity lighting fixtures, such as full spectrum bulbs and tubes that mimic natural sunlight and results in less strain on the eyes. Get rid of exterior light by covering windows with blinds, shades or drapes. Place your monitor in such a way that the windows are to your side.
- Blink, blink, blink! Blinking provides much-needed moisture to the eyes. Otherwise, you might suffer from dry eyes. According to studies, you only tend to blink less while you’re facing a computer monitor. Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently.
- Take regular breaks. If you have been making headway with your lessons, go out in the sun to just relax and rest your eyes. Take the opportunity to do some “eye exercises” during your break. Start by blinking your eyes a number of times. Then, close your eyes, take a deep breath and roll your eyeballs. First, roll it clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do this at least three times. As you slowly open your eyes, exhale in one long breath.
- Get rid of glare. Glare causes eye strain. Sources of glare include your computer screen, reflections on the screen, as well as the walls of the room and the sunlight peering out of your window. Rather than choosing bright white for your walls, go for moderate colors that have a matte finish.
- Practice eye safety tips outside of your online high school classes. Be eye-safety conscious. For instance, take care of your contact lenses, ensuring that you only wear it 10 – 12 hours a day, at most. Then, remove, clean and soak this in the proper contact lens solution. Don’t wear your contact lenses while swimming. When wearing glasses, make sure that these are durable and have anti-reflective coating.
Get the right equipment. LCD or liquid crystal displays (that have flat panels) are ideal since they have built-in anti-glare qualities. It is also ideal to have a monitor that a high resolution so that images are sharper.