I went to the eye doctor last week because I have been squinting a bit lately and getting headaches--the classic symptoms of needing a new pair of glasses. I had an eye exam just about a year ago, but it's been a year full of working for the internet, spending 8-10 hours a day in front of my laptop.
Here are some of the things my eye doctor told me about me about working in front of a computer.
1. All those hours I spent when I was seven years old training myself to cross my eyes were an excellent investment. The eye crossing muscles get a lot of work when sitting in front of a computer monitor, and having learned to cross eyes at will means those muscles are nice and strong.
2. Keep your monitor as far away from yourself as possible, so you don't have to focus in so close to your nose and tire out those eye-crossing muscles. If you tire them out too much, they can spasm and then you'll have trouble focusing far away when you're done working, and you might get a headache.
3. The 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at least 20 feet away. Looking out a window is good. This is to give those muscles a little break, also to prevent spasms.
4. Blink. For some reson we lower our blink rate when we sit in front of a screen and our eyes don't stay lubricated. that can make them irritated. Blink more.
5. Turn down the contrast and brightness. If your screen is bombarding your eyes with light, it will tire your eyes out.
There was something about the refresh rate, too, but I can't remember what it was.