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Reduce and Prevent Eye Strain

The summer season is already nearing its end, but with such dry weather, your eyes can still be put under a lot of strain.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help relieve and even prevent computer eye strain so you'll be able to keep using those babies for a long time. Here's a list of things you can do to help reduce and prevent eye strain:

Eat carrots - Your mother's been telling you for years that if you eat carrots, it'll increase your eyesight. This is absolutely true, but it isn't just carrots you can eat, it's anything with Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to safeguard against cataracts and macular degeneration. It also helps you to see better at night.

Take a break - If you spend hours staring at a computer monitor or even a television every day, then taking a break will definitely help reduce eye strain. Try to spend no more than one hour without taking a break. Computer use results in a decrease of blinking to almost one third of normal, putting even more strain than usual on your eyes.

ClearType - If you're using Windows, try enabling ClearType font smoothing. This will help make reading on your monitor much easier and put a little less strain on your eyes.

Use good lighting - Using table lamps are better for your eyes than overhead lights. Avoid working in rooms that are dark or too dim. If you're staring at a TV or monitor, make sure the light in the room is about equal to the brightness of the display. Movie theaters make up for this by having such a huge screen that their own light fills up the room.

Get lots of rest - Eyes need to sleep just like any other organ in your body. If you're eyes are hurting or are bloodshot, you might need to get more sleep. At the very least, you can simply lay down and "rest your eyes" for a while.

Use reading glasses - Even if you already wear prescription contacts, using reading glasses can help reduce eye strain. Not only will you be able to see small text more clearly, but you'll also be able to sit further away from your computer monitor because reading glasses magnify. Even if you don't wear glasses at all, give reading glasses a try.

Blackle - Viewing a dark screen is better than a bright, white screen. If you tend to use Google to search, try using instead for different contrast.

Do eye exercises - Close your eyes tightly for 5 seconds and then open them. Repeat 5 or 6 times. This will temporarily relieve strain and pressure. Lightly pressing a warm washcloth to your eyes once in a while is also a good idea. Don't ever rub your eyes too hard, though, or you may break blood vessels.

EyeCare Reminder - If you have to stare at a screen for a long time, taking a break is one thing, but you should also look away from the monitor once about each ten minutes. There's even software to remind you.

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