Feeling the strain?

1st September 2020

With many of us now working from home, screen time is on the increase.

Working remotely certainly has its benefits, namely a significant reduction in your daily commute, however for many the drive or walk to work provided a much needed break away from computer monitors and phone screens.

Most of us are aware that an abundance of screen time can be detrimental to our wellbeing, affecting our sleep, posture and general mood, but have you considered the effect that constant stimulation from digital screens could have on our eye comfort and ability to focus?

As specialist optometrists we have a particular interest in looking out for the health of your eyes, that’s why we have put together a few helpful tips to help keep them in top condition.

6 ways to take the strain off your eyes during homeworking

  1. Are you sitting comfortably?

Whether you have a purpose built office space or are perched at the kitchen table, it is important to ensure your eye-line is correct when working on a laptop or desktop computer.  For optimum positioning, your eyes should be level with the top of your screen, so if necessary prop your monitor up using a stand or even books.

  1. Is your prescription up to date?

If you are an optical frame or contact lens wearer, make sure that your prescription is up to date, as wearing lenses with an outdated prescription can put undue strain on your eyes. Many local opticians have now reopened, ourselves included, and are offering appointments for eye check ups. If you are not a glasses wearer, you should still have an eye test at least every two years, so if you think your eye test could be overdue contact us today.

  1. Take a break

Taking a break away from your screen, and that includes your phone too, is vital to allow your eyes to rest. From the moment we wake our eyes are really put through their paces due to a combination of phone screens and monitors during the day, followed by television late into the evening and often another dose of phone screen time just before bed. This constant stimulation is not good for our health and can be a huge factor in the cause of eyestrain. Taking a screen break is a great excuse to instead take a walk around the garden or have that much needed cup of coffee, so make sure you are doing it regularly

4. Don’t forget to blink!
On average we blink 12,000 times a day! One would most likely assume that this is an automatic reflex that we needn’t give consideration to, however staring at a digital screen is said to reduce your eye’s blink rate by a staggering 66%. Blinking provides much needed lubrication to your eyes, and in addition to reducing your blink rate, digital screens are also responsible for causing a higher rate of incomplete blinks, which are in turn less functional. This means your eyes don’t experience the full benefit they need to during a blink. 

  1. Check your lighting and reduce glare.

Experiencing glare on your screen can affect how hard your eyes need to work in order to process what is on the screen, making reading text or seeing objects on your monitor more difficult.  Make sure that lights are not directly shining onto your monitor from overhead and that your screen is sunshine free.

Remember, you don’t always need your monitor on the brightest setting either, just turning the brightness down a notch can give your eyes a chance to rest.

  1. Use a document holder.

Lastly, if you are copying up notes or need to refer to printed materials, use a document holder to bring the content to a comfortable level for your eyes. This prevents continual flicking of your eyes or head up and down and will ultimately be kinder to your eyes and neck. Should you have any questions surrounding your eye health or think that you may require an eye test, call our team on 01603 626750 or book here.

Posted by Dipple Conway

"I’m very impressed by the friendly and helpful attitude of the staff at Dipple and Conway, and by the very competent and professional service my optometrist provided. It really is a pleasure to ones eyes tested there."

Mike Lindsay
Optician Awards Finalist Investor in People The College of Optometrists British Contact Lens Association Association of Dispensing Opticians Best Family Business 2020

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