Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Warning computers are harmful!


Recently tried an Anti-Glare Protector for the 24' monitor that i have but annoyingly its just a little too small on the width. A phrase i have unfortunately been noted on before :)

If you are wondering what one of these are, its a piece of plastic film that goes over your monitor that protects from glare and other harmful UV rays that can have an adverse effect on your ability to use your computer properly. People with CVS (computer vision syndrome), which i unfortunately have, can have bouts of migraine, blurred vision, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes when using the computer. For people suffering from this at any extent i would suggest buying an anti glare protector for your monitor!

I had been suffering with these symptoms for the past year and have got on with playing poker regardless and found that because of this i was never really playing my A-game and that i was never far away from a tilt tantrum. I think anyone with regular headaches and blurred vision as a direct result from using the computer too much would also not be in the best state of mind to play poker.

On the Wikipedia page for the condition, it says that a lot of the symptoms are temporary. However i would imagine that if you use the computer for 8 hours a day daily that these "temporary" conditions would seem a lot more long lasting. To be honest though, i never helped myself with the way i was using the computer in the early days of playing poker. I used to lie down in bed with my back arched and the laptop on my chest literally inches away from my face. I would probably say that i was sat like this for a good year at least and near the end of that tenure i started experiencing eye problems and headaches.

I reacted by buying a 24' monitor and using a desk for it with a comfy chair, thereby being able to sit far enough away from the comp for it not to be a danger to my eyes. However i found that i was getting headaches just as fast from concentrating at the screen for too long, and no question this helped in fostering my bad poker play, through my edginess.

I didn't know what the problem was so i thought i should go to the opticians, and he told me i need a slight prescription but nothing too untoward. I don't need glasses for walking about with (that would be a walking stick, im here all week!) and when i do put them on for computer use or reading i don't notice much of a difference. I still got the headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes.

As a sort of last ditch i bought an anti-glare protector for my monitor. Apparently it can get rid of 99% of the glare that is emitted from your screen and i would have to say that it has significantly helped me! I know it doesn't exactly fit my screen perfectly but it covers most of it and when i look through the filter my concentration levels are improved immensely. I no longer have to look at the screen for a minute a time without having to turn away because i just couldn't take glare.

This alone won't combat the problem i have with computer screens. I think its a combination of a lot of things that i was told to do by the opticians. There is an apparent 20-20-20 rule, whereby every 20 minutes you should look away from the computer screen to an object 20 metres away for 20 seconds.

Obviously i will need to do some sort of an altered version of that because i am not exactly going to look away from my computer screen religously every 20 mins. Could you imagine it. Playing 9 tables having Aces on 3 of them and noticing on my watch, ahh shit its time. Then turn away, stranded by the slow ticking of the 20 seconds on my watch before i can look back at the screen, aghast to find that when i return i have been sat out of the AA bearing tables and hence forth being strickened by an unsurmountable grief :)

The altered version will be to notice when there is a lull in my multi table grinding and you guys know when that is, when you have those few precious seconds to yourself where you can just sit back, smoke a cigar and not worry about playing for a while as you have just auto folded all your tabs dealing with the 49 suiteds or the K2 offsuit. In this quiet, I would just need to look away from the screen, close my eyes and relax, hopefully this will soothe my eye muscles and thus keep them in shape. Then the dreaded reminder beep will have me scrawling back to some sort of poker situation i have encountered a million times. O the Joy.

So hopefully within the next few months with the basics of workstation ergonomics mastered i can finally relax while playing poker and experience the sort of upturn i was so akin to in the early days of playing. I would like to think the only reason i started losing was because of my reaction to the frequent headaches i would get from the comp and not knowing why exactly i was getting them, which added to the frustration. Poker was becoming ever more bitter sweet as i could only experience smaller spells of greatness when the effects of CVS were on an unexpected holiday.

There are only a few other things i need to do to be perfectly prepared for computer use but these now may appear more anal. Desk height, chair positioning/your position in the chair so as not to get back pain, the monitor being at eye level so you don't have to get neck strain from looking downwards. These things i will only combat if i need to so i can maintain some sort of laziness.

On the subject of hamful computers i will lay a worrying link up to those of you who still use their laptop on their bodies ie. on their chest or lap while using, because people who do this and have done for quite some time can be at risk of the adverse effects rtadiation exposure! The link itself has an initial article that is quite vague but the comments in response to it hold more info.

So i think that is the lot on my bearing of bad news in terms of computer related illnesses haha! Food for thought at least and hopefully this sciency advice will help those suffering from similar problems to myself. I wince at the possibility it was CVS that made bad players bad and now i have given them the cure to be playing stable-mindedly, if i have done i forward my apology to all those pros now out of a job. Bye now.



  1. For some reason my eyes started hurting as i read your post, weird how the mind plays trick on you!

  2. Haha yeh for sure. Guess you need that glare protector then ey :)

  3. I'd never heard of thr 20-20-20 rule but might start giving it a try. Although i don't get headaches etc, I am at my laptop screen at least 10-14 hours every day so it can't be doing my eyes much good

  4. I sit on the computer all day too.
    So far so good, but I will put your advice to practice.
    There is no point waiting for bad things to happen, might as well prevent it while I still can.
    Thanks for the advice!

  5. Human clinical studies have shown that black currant anthocyanins can help reduce "tired eyes syndrome" from excessive computer use and improve dark adaptation.