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jgmrussell

Eye strain & glasses

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Hi,

I'm newish to VW and CAD in general but I've started to spend more time practicing and designing on the computer. I notice that my eyes are becoming strained and my vision a little blurry after some hours on the computer (BTW, it's a 20" cinema display on a Mac) I had a vision check up recently and my tests were excellent. My question is, do you reccommend some type of glasses and/or other procedure to help alleviate the strain etc.? Thanks for any advice.

John

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Hi John, It's funny. I was suffering from severe eye strain and headaches, so I bought the 20" Cinema Display and the strain was greatly (if not completely) reduced. My eye doctor advises we all use what he calls the "20-20-20 rule" It says that every 20 minutes you should look at something 20 ft away for 20 seconds. HTH's

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Eye strain, neck strain, back strain, posterior strain, wrist strain, in my experience it will all hit you. Peter's advice on eye strain is very good. Get a good chair, and an adjustable foot rest has always helped me. A Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball alternated with a mouse to keep away the repetive motion problems.

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You probably need to get some computer glasses. They are focused at about 22-24 inches and you can let your eyes focus at infinity where they are relaxed. Computer glasses also serve well for reading drawings.

An optometrist can fix you up. He should know all about it. Don't get bifocals because then you'll have to tilt your head back all the time and this'll introduce neck strain.

I have been wearing computer glasses for years and never get eye strain.

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The 20-20-20 rule should also apply to the rest of the body, but maybe slightly modified. The bod needs a break from repetative movement, too. A physical therapist reminds me to get up at every hour for at least 5 minutes and move around. A commom malady is shoulder impingement (frozen shoulder). If you aren't there yet, just give it time.

I'm getting my first pair of computer glasses this week. Progressive lenses work well if your prescription is current, but neck strain is immediately evident as soon as you need to get stronger lenses. Single lens computer glasses are much cheaper.

I'm waiting for the treadmill workstation to become commercially available.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-06-07-office-fit_x.htm?csp=34 cool.gif

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Amy L says: A commom malady is shoulder impingement (frozen shoulder).

Is that what is called "mouse shoulder?" I cured that by doing pull-ups on the monkey bars.

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And I thought moving away from the drawing board was going to help Architects with all the issues of bad backs, tennis elbow,..., and the like?

Cad just opens a new world of pain. Oh well,...

Lots of good tips here already

As always Balance is the key, althought it would be good to have the option to work standing up like we had with the drawing board.

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My eye doctor advises we all use what he calls the "20-20-20 rule" It says that every 20 minutes you should look at something 20 ft away for 20 seconds. HTH's

That's interesting, at work I look out a window next to me every so often which probably helps.

I get painful eyes which feel dry, but are actually watering, when I haven't had much sleep. We had strong overhead lighting that used to cause me the same problem.

FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_vision_syndrome

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Also important: Place your desk, so it faces outwards towards the room, you are sitting in - not into a blank wall. This will give your eyes a natural variation in focus distance. If a blank wall is all you've got: Buy a very large mirror and place it on the wall behind your monitor - it works the same way.

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Changing my chair and my monitor from CRT to a TFT helped with both my headaches, eye strain (which are linked) and the pains in my neck I was suffering.

The main cause of my neck pain was poor posture. I was found to be having my head leaning forward towards the monitor, this meant all the weight of it was on my neck, and the joints etc. were saying enough is enough.

Sitting more upright cured it.

Not in the "old sit up straight, shoulders forced back" Army fashion. The advice was to image a helium balloon tied to the top of my head and image this lifting your head upwards. Your shoulders would come back natually. Try it, lifting just your head in this way and see how the shoulders naturally go back.

The head is then more in line with the body and not straining the neck.

A towel, rolled up and placed in the chair at the small of my back also helped with posture.

Alan

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Yet more advice:

I'm a sloucher with bad posture, and never had back or neck pain. People with great athletic posture had problems.

Another tip: keep the keyboard relatively high so that your wrist doesn't bend back. Keeping the wrist straight or bent forward helps combat carpel tunnel problems.

My theory (probably worthless) is that keyboards and mice don't have enough feedback. They require too subtle a touch. This causes the muscles to tense up and get sore. My favorite keyboard of all time was the original IBM mechanical keyboard. It had a distinct "click" and you could really pound on it.

Don't be afraid to beat on the keyboard and slam that mouse around. If they break, they're cheap to replace.

But, please get the computer glasses! You'll be able to stare at the screen all day without any eye strain.

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