If like many of us you are a frequent computer user, you are most likely to have experienced the annoyance of eye strain – up to 90% of regular computer users experience this at some point!
Symptoms of eye strain include tired, watery and irritated eyes, blurred/double vision, eyelid twitch and migraines. There are no severe consequences to having eyestrain, although it can be unpleasant and disruptive.
Here are 5 easy steps that you can take to protect your eyes when using a computer:
Reflected glare from computer screens is one of the main causes of eye strain in the workplace. You may want to think about investing in an anti-glare screen protector, as good ones can block up to 99% of glare.
If you wear glasses, make sure that your lenses include an anti-reflective coating. Not only do coated lenses look great, but they dramatically reduce glare from all light sources, which results in clearer vision and a reduced chance of eye strain.
Keep Your Eyes Hydrated
First of all, remember to blink! This might sound silly, but research has proven that a person blinks approximately 5 times less than normal when staring at a computer screen. Blinking is essential to the health of your eyes, as each blink spreads a new layer of tears across the eye, helping to keep it hydrated.
The air conditioned/heated workplace environment can also dry out your eyes, so try keeping a bottle of re-wetting drops handy, as these are great for helping provide instant relief from dry eyes.
Indoor plants can increase the humidity levels in a room, so introducing a few to the office will not only brighten things up, but will prove useful in combating your dry eye problem.
Taking regular, short breaks is essential to keeping your eyes healthy at work. Remember the 20-20-20 rule; take breaks every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away from you. This simple technique will allow your eye muscles to relax and recuperate.
Work In a Well Lit Environment
Having the correct lighting is key to avoiding eye strain, so ensure that your workplace is sufficiently lit. Bright, overhead lighting can be tough on the eyes, so try using table lamps at either side of your work area. Don’t go to the other extreme though, as working in a room that’s too dark isn’t healthy.
Get Regular Sight Tests
It is important to visit your optician for regular sight tests, especially if you are a regular computer user.
The majority of people need a sight test at least every two years, and many people require a small amount of vision correction for computer work. If you have exhausted all the above options and are still experiencing eye strain, it may be worth getting your eyes tested just to be on the safe side!
Gemma is an Optical Advisor at Lenstore.co.uk, and online contact lens retailer.