Preventing Eyestrain While On Your Online High School Classes

Posted on July 22 2013

Getting your high school education online has a variety of benefits. It allows you to work in your own pace, giving you more time for the subjects you are struggling with while allowing you to breeze through subjects that are easy for you. You can also make the online high school lessons work around your other activities such as sports training, a job or an acting career. You can take it virtually anywhere – at home, while waiting for your flight, at your hotel room.

However, online high school programs require you to spend an enormous portion of your school day in front of the computer. Added to this, we also need additional time in the computer for shopping, social networking, communications or research purposes.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Online high school students, therefore, are in danger of experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS if they are not careful. CVS is marked by the following symptoms: tired or aching eyes, difficulty in focusing, twitching eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred or double vision, headaches, as well as pain in the neck, back or shoulders.

Here are some tips to prevent eye strain:

  • Get enough lighting. Overhead lighting, as well as light coming from the windows and reflected on the walls, can cause glare on the monitor. This, in turn, results in eyestrain as your eyes try to deal with the glare. Rather than using bright overhead lighting (which can reflect on the screen and onto your eyes), use lower-intensity bulbs. However, take note that too little lighting is also not advisable. The darkness will also strain the eyes as well. The general rule is that the surrounding light should be somewhere between 50 to 100% of the brightness of your monitor screen.
  • Ensure proper ventilation. A well-ventilated room helps prevent dry eyes. Make sure that the air vents are not blowing directly on your face and control humidity in dry weather by using a humidifier. Rewet your eyes by slowly closing and opening your eyes 10 times.
  • Adjust your monitor’s settings and position. Experiment with your monitor settings to see the best combination of brightness and contrast. Adjust text size as well. Your text size should be thrice the smallest font size that is still readable to you, given your normal viewing position. Avoid choosing desktop and theme color schemes that are too bright and glaring. The monitor should be a foot and a half to two feet away from you. Don’t position the monitor in front of an uncovered window and position your monitor so that the lights shine at an angle from behind you.
  • Give your eyes a break. From time to time, stand up to get yourself a drink of water. The guideline is that you look away from the screen every 15 to 20 minutes, focusing on something else at a distance, such as the tree on the other side of your street or a bird in flight. Close your eyes for a few seconds.
  • Get some rest. Make allowances for rest times in your daily online high school schedule. During your “workday”, stand up to stretch (work on your arms, your neck and shoulders). Better yet, go outside for a quick walk. Avoid straining your eyes too much, by working on your digital tablets or watching TV over and above your extended computer use.
  • Maintain eye health. Outside of your online classroom, take good care of your eyes. When going outside, where sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Go to your eye doctor regularly to have your eyes checked for any vision problems.