The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a seismic shift in the work habits for many of us. Remote working, already rising in popularity before the pandemic, has now skyrocketed. Eye problems can take a toll on both our physical and mental health. This makes it more critical than ever to practice good eye health care.
Here are a few ways that you can keep your eyes healthy while working from home.
Keep Your Prescription Up To Date
Having up to date glasses and contact lenses is essential for eye health. Old prescriptions can lead to eye strain and headaches, so you should keep your prescription regularly updated. Ideally, you should have an eye exam every year, though if you think your prescription has changed, you should go for an eye exam earlier.
Take Regular Breaks From Your Screen
Our eyes aren’t built to spend large amounts of time looking at bright lights like computer screens. Having regular breaks from screens can help to ensure that you don’t strain your eyes. Eye strain can cause blurred vision and headaches, so it is vital to take regular breaks if you’re working from home.
You could follow the “20-20-20” rule while working remotely. This is where for every 20 minutes of screen time, you spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away. Doing this can help combat eye strain and give your eyes a chance to relax and recover from looking at a screen. Exercising your eyes like this can also help prevent any eye degeneration from excessive eye strain.
Following on from ensuring that you take regular breaks from your computer screen, you should also try to ensure that you get plenty of fresh air outdoors. Our eyes, like the rest of us, benefit from regular time outdoors.
You should always wear UV protecting sunglasses when going out and about, mainly when it is bright and sunny out. Investing in some prescription sunglasses could be a great way to ensure that your eyes stay protected while you get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Get Good Sleep
Having a good sleep pattern is vital to many areas of our health, our eyes included. Sleep is a time that helps our eyes rest and recover from the day. It gives them a much needed extended break and helps to keep your eyes lubricated.
There are many ways that you could improve your sleep routine. You could consider putting away your phone or any other screen at least an hour before bed, and use overnight eye drops that promote healthy eyes. If you wear makeup, ensure that you obliterate it using gentle makeup remover to keep your eyes hydrated and avoid irritation.
Keep Your Glasses In Top Condition
Our glasses are hardwearing pieces of equipment. Many of us wear our glasses daily, and as with all things that get a lot of use, sometimes our glasses may break or become damaged. It is crucial to your eye health to ensure that your glasses are in the best possible condition.
Scratches on the lenses or uncomfortable arms on glasses can lead to eye strain and discomfort. It is essential to ensure that if any damage occurs to your glasses, you can fix them as soon as possible. Having your eyeglasses checked over by a professional, trustworthy optical service is key to keeping your eyes healthy.
The Importance Of Blinking
While blinking may not seem like something you should need to think about, when looking at screens for a prolonged period, we can sometimes blink less regularly than we need to. The impact of this on our eyes can be dry, scratchy or irritated eyes, so while it may seem odd, you should try and get into the habit of blinking regularly while using a screen.
Around 15 times per minute is the average amount to blink, so you could try to be mindful of this target when you’re working.
Consider Using Eye Drops
If you get dry eyes, you may wish to get eye drops to lubricate your eyes and prevent discomfort. Having some eye drops on hand while working from home can be invaluable when your eyes get tired. You should ask your optometrist about the best type of eye drops for you, as they will be able to give you tailored advice based on your specific eye care needs.
Keep Your Distance From Your Screen
A good rule of thumb for how far your screen should be from your eyes is around arms-length. Having your computer screen an appropriate distance away will help reduce eye strain and fatigue from your monitor’s brightness.
This should apply to smartphones and tablets as well. It is best to avoid having these screens too close to your eyes. Though an arms-length may not be practical in all cases, you should generally avoid having screens too near your eyes.
Try adjusting your screen’s settings to find a brightness level that will be easier on your eyes. You don’t want your screen to be too dim, as struggling to make out information on your screen can cause further strain, but it shouldn’t be so bright that it causes eye pain. Experiment with different settings and see which works for you. This may take some trial and error, but once you find the right brightness setting this can do wonders for your overall eye health and comfort.
It can also be a good idea to position your computer screen away from natural light sources, as the reflection may cause excessive glare. You can also find screen films and covers that will moderate the amount of light your screen emits.
Have An Eye Exam
Having your eyes checked over by a professional is the best way to ensure eye health at any stage. This is particularly true for working from home, where we may be getting less time outdoors and away from screens. To keep your eyes healthy, you should consider getting an eye exam with us at Jackson Davenport Vision Center now.