Tips for Relieving Computer Eye Syndrome

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Does your job involve sitting at a computer all day long? Do you spend your evenings surfing the net or playing online bingo? Computers may be very convenient, time saving, and entertaining, however, they also put your body under a great deal of strain. Not sitting properly or having an ergonomic workstation can play havoc on your body. The computer screen itself can also be a strain on your eyes. If you think your eyes might be suffering because of the hours you spend in front of electronic screens, here are some tips that will help reduce the problem.

What is Computer Eye Syndrome?

Also known as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain the symptoms include tired eyes, strained feeling eyes, dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, shoulder and neck pain. These symptoms are caused by the glare from electronic devices and computer monitors. Research is showing that computer eye syndrome affects millions of people.

The reason it happens is that your eyes are staying focused on a close-range object, your computer monitor, for such a long time that your eye muscles become strained. They become increasingly fatigued over the course of the day and lose their ability to focus. If the condition is allowed to get worse, it can lead to increased muscle tension, decreased blinking, general discomfort, and several other symptoms.

Relieving and Preventing Computer Eye Strain

There are several things you can do if you think you’re suffering from computer eye strain. The first is to use lubricating eye drops. These will relieve dry, scratchy, and irritated eyes. The humidity levels in the room you’re sat in can also affect the dryness of your eyes. Ideal humidity is between 30 and 50%. A good routine to introduce into your working day is the 20-20-20 rule. While you’re working at your computer look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every twenty minutes. These short muscle breaks can delay eye fatigue and strain. Having your computer monitor at arm’s length and in line with your eyes will also help.

Many people use computer glasses because they’re meant to make focusing easier and require less effort. It’s possible to buy glasses online so you don’t need to worry about visiting an optician.

Having regular eye tests will mean you can get professional help for any issues that occur. Your optician will also be able to offer advice on how to reduce eye strain when working with computers.

Other Computer Related Health Problems

As well as affecting your eyes, prolonged computer use can cause a number of other issues. These include spinal problems from slouching in your chair, repetitive strain injuries in the wrists, and a general deterioration from leading a more sedentary lifestyle. Using an ergonomic mouse, a properly designed office chair and a workstation designed for computer use will make a big difference to your working day and your overall health.

You only get one pair of eyes, so it makes sense to look after them as best you can.

Fed Up with Your Day Job? Fancy Something Different? Consider Freelancing as a Career

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I’ve been a freelancer now for six years. It’s had its ups and downs, I’d be lying if I said every day was rosy. However, overall, it’s been life changing and a decision I’ve not regretted making (most of the time anyway).

The first step in the journey was moving to Bulgaria and working for an American SEO company. It was a brave one to take, mostly because I was leaving my family and friends behind but also because I knew very little about the country I was moving to or the people I would be spending the next couple of months with. All I knew was that I’d had enough of “working for the man”, slogging my guts out every week and having very little to show for it at the end of the month. We’d already had a taste of life and the prices in Bulgaria, having bought a house there and spending a couple of weeks there every year.

My first Bulgarian job, as previously mentioned, was for an American SEO company. I worked in the quality control department, listening to the customer service staff phone calls. After a few months of doing this an opening came up in the content side of the business. I proof read writers work before it was published on customer websites. It was then that I realised there was something I could do for myself. I was a native English speaker working in a country that was crying out for English writers. What did I have to lose? I handed in my notice and found my first writing gig. I’ve not looked back since.

So, what are the benefits of being a freelancer?

You Get to be Your Own Boss

This is probably the number one reason why people choose the freelancing route. It was certainly a big influence in my own decision. It’s a very liberating feeling to be able to clock in and out when you want to, not getting told off if you’re late and not having to tow the line and follow the lead of someone you really don’t respect.

You’re in Control

When you become a freelancer, you get to make your own decisions. Everything you do is up to you. if you choose to work in your pj’s in the middle of the night or sit by the pool and soak up the sun, it’s within the realms of possibility.

You Get to Spend Your Time How You Want To

If you choose a freelancing career there’s no 9 to 5 routine you have to stick to, unless you want to that is. We’ve all got times of the day when we’re more productive and others when we’d rather be doing something else. My most productive time is really early in the morning. This frees up the rest of my day for walking the dogs, pottering around the garden, sightseeing, shopping or sitting in a local café people watching.

You Can Work Anywhere

I’ve chosen to work in Bulgaria but theoretically, I could work anywhere I choose. Some days I end up going to a local restaurant and spending a few hours writing in their garden. I might write sat next to the pool. I’m in charge of where I work and as long as I meet my deadlines the client isn’t going to worry whether I’m at the top of a mountain, in a cool café, sat in the park or working through the night.

You Choose Your Own Clients

I’m still working on achieving this goal but I’m getting there. I’m looking forward to the day when I can ditch the clients I really don’t like working with and concentrate on writing about things that are close to my heart. This is one of the reasons I’ve started publishing more blog posts. It gives me a chance to flex my writing muscles and maybe influence some of the decisions my followers are making.

You Choose the Projects You Work On

This is another achievable goal that I’m getting closer to. I’m also painfully aware that there’s very little chance of me finding a job which interests and inspires me 100% of the time. I do spend a lot of my time involved in doing things I love but my goal is to increase it.

Great Rewards

The rewards of being a freelancer are both financial and spiritual. The more work you put in the more money you can earn and the greater the satisfaction.

You Get to do Something You Love

Most successful freelancers are able to follow their passions and I like to think I fall into this category. You get to feel a certain sense of pride in a job well done and when your customers are happy with what you’ve produced it’s a great confidence booster.

Sounds like a pretty rosy career choice doesn’t it. Before you rush into work tomorrow and hand in your notice, spend some time researching your chosen area and if you wait a couple of days, I’m going to publish an article that highlights some of the downsides of being a freelancer. I’ll also be looking at some of the skills you need, because freelancing isn’t for everyone.