image by Andrea Piacquadio
Is your relationship with your computer more important than your relationship with your body? People who are in pain from being on the computer for too many hours a day make up at least 50% of my practice.
One student had to take two years off his lucrative design job to recover the use of his arms. Another has the beginning symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome which is no joke.
This student’s particular body had already been through the ringer before he started in his profession, so he was more vulnerable than others to RSI and nerve compression, which in my view are totally connected to visual strain. He had old hip and leg injuries from sports, and really tight hip joints. Sitting in a chair all day was never going to be good for him.
Add to a history of injury or trauma with staring at a computer screen which is known to cause eye strain (it’s called Computer Vision Syndrome, which includes musculoskeletal problems as well) and you are headed for many different levels of trouble. According to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, computer vision syndrome affects about 90% of the people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer. 
So that’s basically, like, everyone. People, we need to make this issue into something other than good news for optometrists.
Both of these students were given a medical diagnosis that placed the blame on their bodies. When it should have been placed on the inhumane hours they were expected to work on computers!!!
When I worked in corporate wellness programs at a hedge fund few years back, I’d always ask people to tell me the honest truth (quietly, on the side, not in front of others) how many hours a day they worked on average. The minimum was 10 hours a day. The maximum was 18! Arrrrghhh!!!!!
Eye strain, as I’ve written before, is more serious than many people think because it impairs your posture, breathing, and movement. I’m not gonna lie. There is no form of treatment or body work or self-improvement that will get rid of eye strain and body pain if you are on a computer for that many hours. So what can you do, other than quit your job or start a revolution?
Here are two tips:
1) Get up and move every 20 minutes. This is so much more possible now that we work at home. Just do it! Look out the window and bath your eye with the real world – light, color, texture, space. Give attention to the periphery of your vision, not the central focus point. Give up trying to focus. Take your glasses off and let your vision be blurry.
2) Close your eyes and interview each eye, one at a time. Be sincere and wait for the answers…
Hello left eye.
– Do you feel squished?
– What mood are you in? Are you sad? Happy that we’re taking a break?
– What colors do you see behind our eyelid?
– How long would you like me to stay here with you?
You can do this sitting up or lying down with some support under your head.
You can also watch this month’s video for something a bit more in depth.
You can also start a revolution :-).