Many of us are now well versed in working from home, our usual daily routines of meeting with friends, shopping or playing sports have been substituted for working, relaxing and socializing all behind a screen.
Increase in screen time during lockdown has surged with many adults finding themselves working longer hours and even longer in front of TV catching up on reruns of their favourite programmes, video calling friends or scrolling through social media.
However over exposure to screen time can lead to dryness and stinging sensation in the eyes, blurry vision, headaches, and inevitably an ache in your neck, back, and shoulders.
Whilst we’re all spending more time at home it’s important to maintain good eye etiquette, follow our tips to keep your eyes in optimal condition.
Fix your environment
Relaxing on the sofa or sitting in bed with your laptop might sound inviting but it isn’t the best practice to complete work efficiently, and even worse for your eyes and posture. Try your best to work from a desk, or table whenever possible.
Don’t forget light is just as important, if your computer screen is brighter than your environment your eyes will have to work harder to see, similarly if your screen is too dim your eyes will strain to focus. Maintaining a constant light is best practice and avoid sitting with a window or light reflecting off your screen further stress to your vision.
Take a break
Staring at screens for long periods of time can mean we blink less, causing our eyes to produce less tears to hydrate our eyes. It’s good practice to follow the 20-20-20 rule, to follow this look away from your screen at something 20 feet away from you, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
If you think you’ll struggle with this, try putting a timer on to help remind you to take a break. You could even stand up and stretch, allowing your blood to circulate is not only important for your overall health but improves circulation in the small blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the eyes
Now we’re all used to social distancing, it’s time to think about screen distancing. The ideal distance a computer screen is roughly 50cm or approximately an arms length from your eyes.
If you use a laptop, invest in a laptop stand with an external keyboard and mouse to help maintain good posture, this will not only help ease your aching neck and shoulders, but will also allow you position your screen to avoid eye strain. When setting up your workspace your screen should sit slightly below eye level, with your eyes gazing slightly downward when looking at the middle of the screen.
Limit screen time
Once the working day is over, try and avoid unnecessary screen time. This will not only allow you more time to focus on hobbies, taking an extra long walk or spending time with your family, but also helps your mental health and eye strain.
Continued exposure to blue light on mobile devices can cause vision problems such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, eye cancers and growths on the clear covering over the white part of the eye.
Hydrate your eyes
Drinking more water is the best way to hydrate your eyes, and of course comes with a multitude of other health benefits. Dehydration can severely deteriorate your eye health which means hydrating from the inside out is always the best practice, however if you suffer from dry eyes or wear contact lenses you will benefit from eye drops. Using artificial tears will help relieve the gritty feeling of dry eyes and will help your eyes focus.
When was the last time you had your eyes examationed? Regular eye tests ensure you maintain optimum vision and your prescription is kept up to date. Eye examinations not only check the overall health of your eyes and prevent eye related diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts but can also detect the early onset of other health concerns such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis amongst many other concerns.
If you’ve noticed any changes in your eye health during this unusual time or are concerned about your vision our professional eye care team is always on hand to help, whether you require an eye test or simply need some advice.
As an essential service our services remain open and whilst we’ve always kept a high level of hygiene in our practices, our team is going above and beyond to reassure all clients of the extra steps we are taking to fully comply with all government guidelines.
If you have any queries regarding eye strain or if you would like to book an eye test, please contact our friendly team on 01603 626750Posted by Dipple and 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