Danger: Your computer can ruin your eyesight

YOUR mother was right-staring at computer screens for hours can damage your eyesight, experts said yesterday.
One in 20 office workers who spend all day looking at screens risks eye problems.
And a third of those run the danger of glaucoma, which can lead to blindness.
In one of the biggest studies of its kind, doctors carried out random eye tests on 10,000 workers with an average age of 43.
They completed questionnaires about their computer use and detailed any history of eye disease. The problem was found to be worst among people who were already long or short sighted and who worked longest on computers.
Most of the heaviest users were men and young people, the Japanese researchers found. Dr Masayuki Tatemichi, of Toho University medical school in Tokyo, wrote in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health: 'The optic nerve in short sighted eyes might be more vulnerable to computer stress than it is in normal eyes.
Glaucoma, a progressive disease which develops with age, damages the nerve that carries visual signals to the brain.
The exact cause is unknown, although potential risk factors such as smoking high blood pressure and even wearing a tie too tight have been suggested in the past However, the UK Health and Safety Executive last night denied that compute use could cause permanent eye damage.
It advised office workers to take regular breaks when possible.
    Tuesday, November 16, 2004 METRO