In spite of the popularity of computers, most of us still read a lot of printed matter. Good lighting while reading, writing, using the computer and doing other intricate work like sewing or painting is very important for preventing eyestrain. Inadequate lighting can cause eye problems like eye fatigue, headache, irritability, reduced concentration and difficulty in reading print, especially among older people. Hence it is crucial to ensure correct lighting in our workday lives.
- We should preferably use full spectrum lighting, which is closest to natural sunlight. These lights are easy on the eyes, show colour accurately, increase the contrast between black and white and relieve eyestrain. Most common type of full spectrum light is incandescent bulbs and fluorescent fixtures.
- To minimize glare, position the light so that it does not directly fall on your eyes. If using a table lamp, the bottom of the table lamp should be at eye level.
- The light should be positioned above and behind your head. The light should be positioned behind the left shoulder in a right-handed person and vice versa.
- The intensity of the light should be adjusted for comfortable reading. Approximately 600 lux is required for reading, which can be achieved with a normal table lamp placed 2-3 feet away from the reader. 100 watts of light is recommended for reading. Using dimmers gives the advantage of adjusting the brightness of light to suit your comfort.
- If you wear glasses, have an anti-glare applied to your glasses to reduce glare.
- 40 years is the age when we start experiencing diminishing vision for reading. Due to age related changes in the eyes, you need to adjust the lighting to increase its intensity. For instance, persons aged 60 years would require twice the illumination of a person aged 20 years to carry out the same task.
- Plan your workstation carefully ensuring correct positioning of lights, your computer and desk. Position your monitor so that windows are to the side of it rather than in front of it. Install anti-glare screen on your monitor.
- Eyestrain at work can be caused by glare from computer screen, excessive bright lights from outside, fluorescent lights, or highly reflective surfaces. Eliminate exterior lights be using drapes or blinds. If exterior light cannot be reduced, use computer hoods.
- Light in a study room is important to prevent eyestrain. Apart from the general room light, an additional source of light is required for reading.
- Fluorescent lamps can cause eyestrain. As fluorescent lamps age, light level decreases and flickering occurs. Flickering can cause fatigue and headache. Tubes need to be cleaned and replaced regularly.
- Interior lights should be half of what is normally used in most offices. Reduce interior lights by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Use low intensity bulbs.
- Do not use light from a TV or PC monitor as a source of light while reading. Do not read while lying down.
For further information, consult our ENT specialist today.