Many remote workers use computers and other devices as part of their work routine. Since they work from home, most of the communication happens virtually. Hence, workers commonly spend hours upon hours reading from a screen, which can cause digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain is a condition where one feels discomfort in the eye area due to prolonged and intense use. While the pain doesn’t get too severe and usually goes away on its own after resting the eyes or sleeping, it can still be disruptive since eye strain can cause soreness around the eyes, headaches, blurry vision, and heightened sensitivity to light.
From managing your screen time to curing dry eyes permanently, here are some suggestions you can consider to help you reduce digital eye strain as you work from home:
Give Your Eyes A Break Regularly
When working on your computer or phone, it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re staring at the screen for too long. While working without interruption may be ideal for you in some ways, it can cause strain on your eyes. Hence, it’s essential to take regular breaks away from the screen to prevent eye strain.
To do this, you can either set a reminder that will notify you when it’s time to take a break from the screen. You can either set up an alarm or use a tracking app and set a notification every 20 minutes.
Then, once it’s time to take a break, you can look away from the screen for 20 seconds and rest your eyes on an object up to 20 feet away. This method is called 20-20-20, and it’s ideal for those who regularly work in front of a computer or other electronic devices.
Keep Your Devices At A Safe Distance
Experts believe computers and other gadgets should be kept at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away from the face. This distance provides the best comfort and convenience while keeping the eyes safe from too much exposure to blue light. Moreover, the computer monitor should be placed slightly below eye level to minimize the strain on the eyes while reading.
Maintain Proper Sitting Posture
Poor sitting posture can worsen one’s eye strain. For instance, moving your face closer to the screen will intensify your exposure to blue light and can aggravate the eyes further. A slumped posture with your face close to the monitor can also dry and tire the eyes quickly.
To avoid this scenario, ensure that you’re seated comfortably with your back straight and your face at a safe distance from the screen. For using mobile devices, on the other hand, you should keep the screen at least 20 inches away from your face and about five inches below eye level to avoid eye strain.
Reduce Your Screen Time
The most effective way to prevent eye strain is to reduce screen time. If using your devices is part of your job, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on them after work. For instance, you can stop using your mobile or computer two hours before bed. Then, leave all electronic devices outside your bedroom to remove all sources of blue light and allow your eyes to rest.
Use Protective Glasses
Another effective way to protect your eyes is to use specialized glasses with protective lenses. These lenses deflect blue light, which causes eye strain and sleep problems. Hence, you can use your devices as needed without harming your eyes.
Adjust The Screen’s Brightness
The brighter the screen setting is, the harsher the effect of blue light is on the eyes. Thus, it’s best to adjust your monitor’s brightness to match the lighting of your work area. This way, your eyes won’t have to work as hard as you read. Meanwhile, you can increase the phone’s contrast to make reading text and viewing images easier.
Work In Natural Light
Letting natural light into your work area can also help your eyes relax and feel less strain as you work with your gadgets. Sunlight has a natural, energizing, and relaxing effect on the body, which also affects the eyes.
Therefore, to minimize the impact of blue light on your eyes, you can consider working in natural light. You can do this by drawing the curtains open or by spending some of your working hours in a comfortable spot outdoors.
Apart from protecting your eyes from feeling strained, you’ll also feel more awake and alert. In addition, being exposed to natural light is beneficial for having a productive work day.
Blink More Often
It’s common for people who want to focus on a task to blink less than usual, which has been observed primarily among those who work with electronic devices. However, blinking is a quick and effective way to give your eyes a short break from your screen.
For this reason, making a conscious effort to blink as often as possible helps protect yourself from eye strain. Blinking keeps your eye moisturized and prevents dry eyes, which helps in alleviating tension.
Exercise Your Eyes
Another way to ease eye strain and maintain good vision is to practice eye exercises. These exercises help relieve tiredness after intense use. For example, you can close your eyes, cover them with your palms, and do a few eyeball rotations. This eye-rolling exercise helps release strain on your eye muscles and gives them a break from light exposure.
Meanwhile, you can also try the blinking exercise. To practice this technique, you’ll need to blink 20 times quickly, then close your eyes for a few seconds. You can do this exercise whenever you take a break or at any point during the day when you need to rest your eyes.
Caring for your eye health is essential as you work in the comfort of your home. While it may be unavoidable to spend long periods using gadgets to communicate at work, you can take steps to protect your eyes from strain and damage in the long run.
To do so, you’ll need to strategically arrange your devices and position your work chair and desk. Moreover, taking sufficient breaks and limiting your screen time to what your duties require are also necessary.