Computer eye strain isn’t something a lot of us want to think about, but it can happen. It’s hard not to notice once it starts, though, as symptoms can include blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, and dry eyes.
Although symptoms are nearly always short-term, they can still make for a stressful experience that disrupts your workday.
Luckily, there are loads of simple, proactive preventative steps you can take. Here we present the easiest and most useful tips for eye care while working – plus, a cool story about glasses, eyesight, and intelligence you might not know!
Your Body: Blinking, Breaks and the 20/20/20 rule
Blinking is involuntary, and you do it without thinking. However, it serves a vital function.
Your eyes are covered by a thin mist of tear water that helps block outside objects like dust from getting into them. Blinking refreshes this protection.
Your eyes are made to blink around 15 times a minute, or once every 4 seconds. However, when you’re focused on a computer screen this amount is halved to once, 5 or 7 times a minute (on average).
This can cause dryness and irritation, which will make your work less efficient. So, occasionally throughout the day, remind yourself to blink more!
One other thing you can easily do while sitting at your computer desk is to look away from it at regular intervals.
Simply divert your eyes away from the screen every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet or more away for 20 seconds. The 20/20/20 rule!
The hardest one to do, but probably the most important, is to take regular breaks from looking at your screen. At least 15 minutes every 2 hours or so.
Working from home, shouldn’t be too hard. But in an office, you might have to get creative – especially if you want to stay efficient. Maybe it’s time to plan that project with your co-worker in person for half an hour?
All these tips are also useful when playing at the best online casino nz dollars for long sessions, as you wouldn’t want eye strain stopping play!
Your Environment: Lighting, Distance and Mediaeval Monks
The optimum distance from your screen for your eyes is 25 inches, or about the length of your outstretched arm. Too far on either side of that distance can strain your eye muscles when working over long periods.
Lighting is also important. Too much light and your eyes strain to see the screen. However, too little light and the focus and intensity can cause trouble too.
You also want to be looking slightly downward at your screen, not directly forward. This helps your eyelids strain less while blinking and protects your eyes from drafts – especially in an air-conditioned office.
Interesting Fact: Bad lighting while working is why glasses are often linked with being clever. Back in the Middle Ages, when spectacles were invented, people with naturally bad eyes often died young. So, the only market for glasses was older people who developed bad eyesight.
One way to certifiably make your eyes worse is consistently reading the text without enough light – and who did a lot of that?
Monks, working by candlelight. Therefore, if you were in the need of the first spectacle designs, you were probably a lifetime academic. And thus, the stereotype was born!
Your Tech: Font Size and Screen Settings
If you find yourself straining your eyes to read some text, even for a second, you should definitely zoom in or increase the size.
If you’ve got a budget, a bigger monitor works wonders – but not so big you have to move your head about too much to see it all.
You could also consider a blue light filter if you enjoy working at nighttime. There are loads of free ones available. Blue light is not only straining on your eyes, but it’s also bad for your sleep schedule, as it stimulates your brain similarly to daylight.