OFFICE workers are being advised are being advised to ease the strain on their eyes.
Graeme Ochtman, at Specsavers in Morpeth, is calling on screen users to set aside a few minutes each day to perform simple exercises in addition to regular eye examinations.
As a result of close contact with the computer screen, some workers do experience symptoms such as twitching eyes, blurred vision, fatigue, headaches and difficulty focusing on objects in the distance.
Among the recommended exercises that can help prevent or alleviate them is the pencil push-up, also known as an orthoptic.
Take two pencils, one in each hand, then extend one arm to about 60cm from your face and the other to about 30cm — look closely at the tip of each pencil in turn, swapping from one to the other.
After a minute or two, take the closer one away then move the further one slowly towards your face until it turns blurry.
This method is particularly effective for those suffering from conditions such as binocular vision (diplopia) or blurred vision at distance (pseudo-myopia).
Mr Ochtman said: “Our eyes aren’t really designed for the sort of lifestyle we lead today.
“We’re meant to be out as hunter-gatherers, looking out for predators in the distance. But instead, most of us spend hours every day reading and sitting in front of a screen. Our eyes become strained, converging on one point.
“While the eye exercises do not correct vision, done regularly they will encourage accommodation and train what is known as convergence in the eyes.”
He also recommends that workers take regular breaks from computer screen work and relax their eyes by looking into the distance.