As if we needed an excuse to take more breaks at work.
It’s no surprise that prolonged exposure to our tech devices isn’t ideal for our eye comfort and health. When you stare at a computer all day, it’s likely you will go home with sore, throbbing eyes. While the discomfort soon fades, the damage remains. Eyestrain from hours of screen time can result in eye irritation, dryness, fatigue or blurred vision. And when you consider that the blue light of screens can also wreck havoc on your sleep, it becomes pretty clear that our desk jobs may be doing more damage than good.
Because we love our peepers and want to preserve their health, here’s a few tips from myself and the team at Madonna Rigney Optometry on daily exercises you can implement each day to protect your eyes throughout the long, hard hustle.
1. Enforce the 20-20-20 rule
One way to reduce “computer vision syndrome” long-term is to adopt the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes you are on a computer or a mobile device, look away from the computer at an object 20 feet (6m) away for 20 seconds or more. Blinking while focusing on something that is further away will help your eye muscles relax.
2. Anti-fatigue spectacles
Yes, these are a real thing! Anti-fatigue spectacles with anti-reflective coating (such as UV blue light filter) help absorb some of the blue light and limit how much reaches the retina and the central nerve of the eye. These specs will become the ultimate tool in your arsenal, and we can assist you with selecting the best pair for your needs.
3. Adjust light exposure
In addition to taking breaks from focus on digital screens and using eyewear, we recommend adjusting light exposure to help with eye strain, both indoors and outdoors. Contrary to popular opinion, more indoor light may actually be worse for on-screen reading. Too much light competing with the device’s light creates glare that can strain the eyes. Bright white backgrounds can contribute to eyestrain, so it’s recommended you select a cooler, grey tone.
4. Blink more often
A person’s blink rate, normally about 15-20 times per minute, can decrease by up to half when people are fixated on what they are viewing on a screen. It might sound like a small thing, but it can significantly contribute to the feeling of dry and tired eyes. Blinking regularly ensures the thin film over the eyes keeps them hydrated and ensures natural oil production.
5. Drink lots of water
A bit of a no-brainer, but worth mentioning regardless. Keeping your body hydrated not only benefits your body’s health and your skin, but can also improve and maintain eye health. Water really is the elixir of life.
6. Use artificial tears
Just as you hydrate your body after a workout, your tired, thirsty eyes need the same love. Keep a bottle of tear supplements nearby to refresh your eyes when they feel dry. Just one drop four times a day can do wonders!
Even when you practise these tips regularly, it is still worth taking the time to get your eyes checked by a professional. We recommend you get a full vision assessment from your trusted optometrist who can recommend the best therapy for you. Your eyes are the windows to your soul, so make sure you keep yours bright and healthy!
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