In today’s day and age, office work predominantly involves spending hours at a time in front of computer screens. Our eyes were not meant to endure constant focus on direct light. It comes as no surprise that some eye issues frequently arise. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. According to the American Optometric Association, CVS can be defined as “a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone use.” Therefore, to help office workers avoid these problems, here are some tips that can aid in preserving eye health.

Take microbreaks from screens to preserve eye health

Some employers do their best to encourage healthy and comfortable offices. But if your work involves using an electronic device, there is no way to entirely avoid looking at the screen. However, that doesn’t mean that you must have your eyes glued to the monitor during your entire shift. Numerous experts recommend the 20-20-20 method, which was introduced by Dr. Jeffrey Anshel.

This technique involves taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking in the distance, at least 20 feet away. This way, your eyes get frequent breaks but due to them being short, you still have enough time to do your job. Additionally, it’s crucial not to forget to blink, ideally 15 to 30 times a minute, to keep your eyes moist and subsequently prevent irritation.

Boost eye health by adjusting your computer screen settings

Research has shown that the blue light that computer screens emit contributes to developing eye health problems, such as “dry eye, cataract, age-related macular degeneration.” Therefore, the color temperature should mostly be on the yellowish side. If looking at your screen feels like staring at the Sun or a lamp, it is definitely too bright. Contrastingly, if your experience would be best compared to reading a book under a candle during a power outage, then you need to increase the brightness a bit.

However, setting up the correct level of brightness also depends on the lighting in the room. Thus, it should roughly match the light level of the office. Font size is equally important, as you don’t want to have to be too close to the screen to be able to see everything. Ensure that reading the text on your screen is effortless. Make the letters are of an easily discernible size. In case you’re having trouble determining how to adjust the settings, there are computer programs that can do that automatically.

Relax your eyes during your time off

After a long day of work, it may be tempting to get cozy in front of a computer or TV screen. Maybe you want to catch up with your favorite TV program or YouTube channel. Although by no means should you deprive yourself of these forms of entertainment, try not to spend your entire leisure time with your eyes fixed on screens. For example, you can relax by listening to an audiobook or a podcast while spending some quality time in nature.

Another practical way to rest your eyes is by using a handy eye massage tool. Not only is it extremely enjoyable but its heated compressions help improve circulation, alleviate sinus problems and reduce eye strain, as well as the puffiness around the eyes.

eye health

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Protect your eye health by minimizing glare

Glare on the screen can be caused by any source of light. That can be the sun, ceiling light, or a lamp. In the case of an outside source of light, you can minimize the glare by adjusting the curtains. Or you can tilt the monitor at an appropriate angle. On the other hand, you can also purchase computer glasses or screen filters, which reduce glare and filter out blue light.

Position the equipment properly

After ensuring that your office is equipped with the essential office equipment, you need to position that equipment in a way that will be most beneficial for your eye health.  Keep your monitor at least at arm’s length. The screen should be only slightly below your eye level. You can achieve that by adjusting the height of the chair and/or using a monitor stand.

Photo by Ion Şipilov on Unsplash 

Keep your screen spotless

Even if you follow all the above-mentioned tips, you may still have eye issues if your computer screen isn’t cleaned regularly. Screens covered in dust and smudges cause you to strain your eyes in an attempt to see the display clearly. What is more, the dust may get in your eyes and cause irritation. Therefore, make sure that your screen is spotless at all times.

Final thoughts

Evidently, exposing our eyes to screens has become unavoidable but the consequences can be minimized. However, paying regular visits to your ophthalmologist is essential, to get professional advice and prevent more serious issues.