How to Reduce Eye Strain at Work: Tips for Desk Jobs and Prolonged Screen Time
The typical symptoms of eyestrain because of increased digital time include a burning sensation in the eyes, blurry vision, dry eyes, itching, and light sensitivity. These symptoms can be irritating, and if left untreated, they can lead to severe eye strain.
The good news is that there are several ways to reduce eye strain at work. Let's take a closer look at some of the tips you can implement to protect your eyes while working.
Revamp the Lighting
According to the World Health Organization, proper lighting can reduce eye strain by up to 30 percent. The lighting in your workspace is crucial when it comes to reducing eye strain. Working in a dimly lit room can cause eye fatigue, while bright light can cause your eyes to work harder.
The typical symptoms of eyestrain because of increased digital time include a burning sensation in the eyes, blurry vision, dry eyes, itching, and light sensitivity.
It is important to have low-intensity lighting in your workspace to prevent eye strain. Natural lighting is the best option, but if it is not available, use soft, ambient lighting instead.
Master the20-20-20 rule
One simple but effective tip is to follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain. According to a study by the University of Alabama, following the 20-20-20 rule can reduce eye strain by up to ninety percent.
This rule suggests that you take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at an object that is 20 feet away. This provides rest to your eye muscles, which is essential for preventing eye strain.
Minimise the Glare
Glare is a significant source of eye strain, and it can be especially problematic for those who work in brightly lit environments.
The use of anti glare screens or using anti glare coating on your spectacles will reduce eye strain. A study by the American Optometric Association found that glare can cause up to a 50 percent reduction in visual function, leading to eye strain and headaches.
Level up the Contrast Game
Adjusting the contrast and brightness settings on your computer screen can help reduce eye strain.
According to the Vision Council, the contrast should be high, and the brightness should be ambient. This helps to minimise strain on the eyes, particularly when working in low-light conditions.
Blue light reduction is the key
The blue light emitted from computer screens is known to cause eye strain and disrupt sleep patterns. A study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that blue light exposure can increase the risk of macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of blindness.
"Try to make a conscious effort to blink more often. This can help to reduce the dryness and irritation that can come with extended periods of screen time."
One way to reduce blue light exposure is to adjust the settings on your monitor so that the colours are more in red/orange hues, and the blue light emitted is less. Another option is to use blue light cut lenses in your spectacles. This can help you to work more comfortably for longer periods without experiencing eye fatigue.
Frequent Blinking for the Win
When working on a digital device, you tend to blink less, which can cause your eyes to dry out and become irritated.
Blinking helps to moisten the eyes and prevent dryness, consequently reducing eye strain (a claim backed up by the University of Michigan!).
Try to make a conscious effort to blink more often. This can help to reduce the dryness and irritation that can come with extended periods of screen time.
Maintain Adequate Distance and Posture
The distance between your eyes and the screen is important when it comes to reducing eye strain.
The screen should be at least at arm's length, and the height of your desk should be such that the screen level is equal to your eye level. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, the optimal viewing distance for a computer screen is 20 to 40 inches, and the top of the monitor should be at eye level to reduce neck strain.
This helps prevent bending of the neck and reduces strain on the eyes. It is also important to maintain good posture when working on a digital device, as this can help to reduce muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.
Your Eyes Deserve to get Checked Frequently
Getting your eyes checked regularly is essential to maintaining good eye health. This ensures that you are wearing the right prescription lenses and that your eyes are functioning properly. Annual eye check ups can help to catch any eye problems early on and prevent them from worsening.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, reducing eye strain is essential when working on digital devices for prolonged periods. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of eye strain and improve your eye health. Remember to take frequent breaks, blink often, and adjust your screen settings to reduce glare and blue light exposure.
It is important to prioritise eye health and take preventative measures to avoid the development of more serious vision problems down the road. With a little bit of effort, you can maximise your productivity while minimising eye strain, allowing you to work comfortably for longer periods and at the same time, ensure that your eyes stay healthy and make sure you continue to enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising your vision.