21 October, 2020
Working from home? Eye strain? Recommendations to take care of your eyes
Nowadays, it is very common to spend a large amount of hours a day in front of screens, either for work or for leisure. This can lead to a series of symptoms that worsen throughout the day and can vary from one person to another. The most common symptoms are: dry eyes, irritation, tearing, headaches, redness of the eyes, difficulty in focusing, a feeling of preassure or pain in the nasal bridge or in the eye sockets …
These symptoms are what is known as digital eye fatigue or digital visual syndrome and, according to studies, affects around 90% of people who use the computer more than three hours a day.
Prevention is the most important factor.
If this is your case, the best thing you can do is follow a series of guidelines to prevent symptoms from appearing:
1- Check your vision.
In many cases, these symptoms are caused by an uncorrected eye disorder, even in people who think they see well. We suggest that you make an appointment with your Optician-Optometrist for a visual examination. In this way, you will know if you are wearing the most suitable prescription.
2- Use the right light.
It is important to work with good lighting both in the room and at the working point, as well as adjusting the brightness (neither too intense nor too dim) and the screen resolution. This way, you can avoid accelerating the onset of symptoms. It is also essential to place the light sources in such a way that they do not produce reflections on the screen, so that a bigger visual effort is not required.
3- Use a proper posture
When working on the computer, it is important that you maintain a good posture. In this way, some pains can be avoided, not only those related to the eyes. You must be sitting correctly, the top of the screen should be slightly below the eyes and at a distance of about 50-65 cm.
4- Take short breaks.
When we spend a lot of time looking at a close distance we are subjecting our eyes to a greater accommodative effort. To minimize it, it is recommended to follow the 20/20/20 rule, every 20 minutes we pause for 20 seconds to look more than 20 feet away, or what is the same, 6 meters. That is, take short but frequent breaks to look away from the screen and look as far away as possible.
It might sound silly, but it has been proven that when we are focused on a screen, the frequency of blinking decreases. We blink less, which causes dryness that manifests as itching, stinging, tearing … So it is important that we remember to blink. If you still notice that dryness, you can hydrate your eyes with an artificial tear. You can ask your Optometrist to recommend the most suitable one for you, since they are not all are the same. It also helps to use a humidifier.
6- Use a blue light filter.
Exposure to blue-violet light emitted by screens is related, among other alterations, to visual stress. Therefore, if you use glasses for work, it wil be very helpful that they include a filter for this high frequency light.
Visual fatigue or tired eyesight?
We want to emphasize that eyestrain is not the same as tired eyesight. Visual fatigue is caused by visual overstrain and can be solved by putting into practice the recommendations we have given in this post. However, tired eyesight is a visual defect that occurs with aging due to physiological changes in the structures of the eye. It is what we also call presbyopia and it becomes evident around the ages of 40-45. Knowing this, it is best to go to your Optician-Optometrist so that, after a complete visual examination, they can recommend the best solution based on your specific needs.
At L’Atelier Óptica we would be happy to advise you and answer your questions. If you have any left, do not hesitate to contact us.
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