Changes to the way we work have had quite a large impact on our lives in the last few months, most notably that many people are now working from home, which I am sure is more common for those whose jobs require a large amount of screen use. When at the workplace it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that employees follow proper guidance to keep them safe from certain strains, such as eye strain, back pain, or wrist pain.
However, now that we are working from home it is up to us to keep ourselves healthy whilst working, and a major issue I’m sure that many people experience is eye strain. To help people prevent eye strain and fatigue I have compiled a list of easy things you can do both at home and at work that can combat strain. Of course these may not necessarily work for everyone, but if you are experiencing any form of strain such as heaviness, or headaches, I recommend you try one at least of these things!
Probably the most effective and most recommended way to help prevent eye strain is to implement the 20/20/20 rule whenever you are using screens or using your eyes in a way that is likely to cause some sort of strain. My optometrist recently told me about the rule when I last went to get my eyes checked; it’s very simple, and basically says that for every 20 minutes you spend on a task, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds at a time. This is especially useful if you are staring at a screen close to your eyes a lot, as it allows your eyes to re-focus on something far away instead – essentially giving your eyes a break from focusing close up.
Blue Light Glasses
The presence of blue light glasses has increased in the last few years, as more and more people latch on to the hope that they will help to avoid eye fatigue. In the case of our phones and computers, blue light is a constant factor and can in turn cause more strain to your eyes over time. If you are someone who works with screens often, you may find that blue light glasses can help throughout the day.
Two studies conducted on the effectiveness of blue light eyewear found that participants not only had better visual quality whilst wearing the glasses, but also that they reduced the feeling of pain around the eyes and the feeling of heaviness, along with increased melatonin production in the body overnight. So if you find that your eyes just don’t feel as good as they used to, it may be worth investing in a pair of blue light glasses!
Similar to blue light glasses, anti-glare lenses are specially coated to help prevent our eyes from unwanted light waves. These can either be bought on their own, or you can get them from your opticians to go with your prescription glasses – super easy to get! I own a pair to help when I am concentrating, such as when I’m on my laptop working or watching TV for extended periods of time. If you find that driving at night is harsh on your eyes due to car lights, anti-glare lenses can help to reduce this.
Proper Lighting & Setup
Arguably the most important thing to do is make sure that you are positioned correctly and have good lighting. Of course a lot of people use their laptops wherever they want to, and this means the screen is going to be lower than it should be. I’d argue that as long as you sit up straight and take regular breaks to stretch and relax your eyes, you shouldn’t have any big problems. Make sure that the lighting is also good, as a bright screen in a dark room is going to cause more strain than if the rest of the room is lit – or keep your brightness low if the lighting isn’t very good.
Most importantly you need to get moving! Yes this isn’t just for eye strain but also for your body. Since your eyes are delicate they react to a lot of things, and if your body is feeling tired so will your eyes along with it – so every now and then walk around for a few minutes before returning to your screen.
Have you tried any of these before to prevent eye strain?
Love, Emily x