Electronic devices form an important part of today’s world, both in the workplace and socially. With the continuous growth in the digital market, it also means more time is spent looking at electronic screens.
Digital eye strain can lead to dry, irritated eyes, neck pain and headaches, as well as difficulties with focusing and a subsequent decrease in productivity. However, not everybody is aware of the dangers of high energy visible (HEV) or blue light, emitted by digital screens, that can cause retinal damage, vision loss and even sleeping problems. March is Workplace Eye Wellness Awareness Month and Mellins i-Style shares tips on how to limit screen-induced eye strain:
- See your optometrist – If you wear glasses, see your optometrist regularly to check if your lens prescription is up to date and adequate for computer use.
- Wear your spectacles – Swop contact lenses for spectacles when working in front of a computer to reduce eyestrain.
- Consider digital lenses – Research and development in optical lens design has resulted in the creation of digital lenses that alleviate the strain caused by continuous computer or tablet use. It is especially aimed at people in their 30s and 40s who are experiencing near vision discomfort for the first time. The design supports the ciliary muscle, therefore making it easier for the wearer to switch vision between near and distance ranges and may help to prevent blurred vision, tired or dry eyes and neck strain.
- Opt for optical spectacles with proper anti-reflective coating – These specifically eliminate the blue-violet light emitted from LEDs, TVs, computers and tablet screens. Zeiss offers such a product, DuraVision BlueProtect, which ensures that the glare from digitals screens is not as harsh on the eyes.
- Position, position, position – Ergonomics are important, so choose a comfortable and supportive chair and position it so that your feet are flat on the floor. Adjust your computer screen and all other equipment at your work station to reduce possible eye strain. Your computer screen should be about an arm’s length away when sitting back in your chair. Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor and you look slightly down at the screen. Sit slightly further back if you have a large screen.
- Remember the 20/20/20 rule – Take a 20-second break from your digital screen every 20 minutes to relax your eyes, by focusing on an object 20 metres away. Blurred distance vision after a few minutes of near work usually indicates eye strain.
- Use an anti-glare screen – To reduce glare from UV and artificial lights on your computer or tablet screen.
- Tweak your computer settings – By changing your font size and brightness, it will make it easier to read text on your screen and minimise eye fatigue due to squinting. Text should be about two to three times the size of the smallest text you can read. The computer screen’s brightness should be the same as the area directly behind it and you may need to adjust settings throughout the day if your workspace is lit by natural light.
- Blink more or use eye drops – When you work at a computer or on a tablet, you are less likely to blink. Blinking keeps your eyes moist and reduces dryness and irritation. If your eyes become dry and blinking more doesn’t offer relief, especially when wearing contact lenses, use eye drops recommended by your optometrist.
- Stretch your legs – Get up from your desk and move around at least every two hours.
- Change your device settings or use an app – If you forget to take a break, download a free web or mobile app such as eyeCare-Protect Your Vision, EyeLeo, Eyes Relax and PC Workbreak that will remind you to take regular breaks from your digital devices.
Source and images: Mellins i-Style.