The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented change in how the world’s working professionals do their jobs.
In their efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many companies around the world have allowed most, if not all of their employees to work remotely starting in 2020. As a result, millions of people across the globe are now working from home.
Working from home has several benefits. By working from home, you greatly minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. Working from home is also more convenient and less stressful because you don’t need to commute or spend time driving to work.
The question is: is there a downside to working from home? Yes, there is.
Working from home makes you more prone to digital eye strain, dry eyes, and other eye problems caused by working in front of digital devices.
Now, this isn’t to say that office workers can’t get digital eye strain. You can get digital eye strain whether you work in an office or at home. However, working from home often worsens the symptoms of digital eye strain because you are exposed to more devices such as your TV, smartphone, and tablet for longer periods.
There’s no need to worry, though. Digital eye strain is rarely serious and its symptoms can be easily treated and even prevented. If you work from home and spend hours in front of your desktop or laptop, here are four eye care tips you need to follow.
#1. Create an eye-friendly workspace
Creating an eye-friendly workspace is one of the first and most important things you should do. With an eye-friendly workspace, you can work in front of your computer without having to worry about eye strain.
Here are some easy yet effective ways to make your workspace more eye-friendly.
a) Adjust your screen’s brightness
A screen that is too bright can cause dry eyes, which is one of the main symptoms of digital eye strain. To avoid eye dryness, your screen should have just the right level of brightness.
What’s the right level of brightness, you ask?
Adjusting your screen’s brightness isn’t an exact science. It all depends on your comfort level and what you can see on your screen. If your screen looks like a light source when you look at it from far away, then that means your screen is too bright. On the other hand, if you can make out what’s on your screen, then your screen is too dim.
Your screen should just be bright enough that you can clearly make out every detail on the screen without the harsh blue light from the screen drying out your eyes.
Colour temperature also plays a role in eye strain. The color temperature of your screen should be warm, which means decreasing the level of blue and increasing the levels of green and red. If your screen has automatic settings for “warm”, “cool”, or “normal” temperatures, simply choose “warm”.
b) Adjust your screen’s color temperature
Your screen’s color temperature also affects your eyes. To prevent eye strain, your screen should have a warm color temperature. Make your screen’s color temperature warmer by increasing the levels of green and red colors and decreasing the level of blue color.
Some computer monitors also have color temperature options that allow you to select from settings such as “warm”, “cool”, or “normal” without having to manually calibrate the color levels yourself. If your monitor has this feature, take advantage of it.
c) Fix the position of your screen
Avoid working with your computer or laptop screen too close to your face. For maximum ergonomics, your computer screen should be between 20 and 30 inches away from your face.
The height of the screen also matters. Your screen will be at the correct height if the top edge of the screen is at your eye level when sitting down. This height will allow you to see every part of your screen without tilting your head up and down too often.
#2. Keep your eyes hydrated
Drinking water throughout the day while working in front of your computer is one of the easiest ways to prevent eye strain and dry eyes. Apart from flushing out toxins, drinking water hydrates your entire body including your eyes.
Another way to hydrate your eyes is to use over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricant eye drops. These products contain ingredients that help keep the eyes moist and prevent dry eyes. You can get them at any drugstore without a prescription. There are many brands out there, each with different ingredients and formulations, so you might have to try a few before you find the right one.
#3. Practice the 20-20-20 method
Whenever you’re working in front of a computer, always follow the 20-20-20 rule.
The 20-20-20 rule has many benefits for anyone who spends a significant time in front of a computer. Jeffrey Anshel developed the 20-20-20 rule specifically to help people reduce digital eye strain. It’s the golden rule for taking breaks when working with computers.
From its name, you might think that the 20-20-20 rule is complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s how you follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break from your computer and focus your eyes on an object that’s at least 20 feet (6 meters) away for at least 20 seconds.
Focusing on an object that is farther away from you than your computer screen relaxes your eye muscles, thereby preventing your eyes from getting tired.
Working from home doesn’t have to lead to painful and annoying eye strain. Whether you are already experiencing the symptoms of eye strain or simply want to prevent them, the advice in this post can help you.
About the Author
Jericho Gonzales is a Content Marketing Specialist at Lens.com. Writing is his passion, and he specializes in tech-based and consumer product-based writing. His other passions lie in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. When he isn't busy with wordcraft, he loves to immerse himself in those worlds through novels, video games, TV shows, or movies.