Many of us are experiencing changes to our working office environment and are working from home for an extended period of time. While prioritizing all aspects of our health and wellbeing, it’s also important to consider your vision and the overall health of your eyes, taking steps to set up a productive home office environment. Taking note from cases we’ve personally seen, we’ve outlined a few top tips for keeping eyes healthy in a home office environment.
Eye doctors across the world are seeing many patients who are busy young professionals and have never needed glasses, coming to us after working daily in front of screens from 9-5pm for a few years. Suddenly they find that they can’t focus properly, their vision is declining, or they are experiencing headaches and eyestrain at the end of a busy workday. And this is often due to changes in their prescription, shape of the eye (astigmatism) or an eye muscle imbalance. These are all manageable with a simple eye exam and helped with either correct prescription glasses or eye muscle exercises.
Here are seven simple tips to keep your eyes healthy whilst working:
Screen positioning – The optimum position for your computer screen is four or five inches below your eye level. Adjust your screen so it is well positioned and you are comfortable. Too far away and you may squint to focus and cause eye strain which can lead to headaches and tiredness.
Lighting – Try and get as much natural light in your workspace as possible. This has the added benefit of improving your mood too. Straining your eyes to see your screen in a dimly lit room is going to increase fatigue.
Set your desk close to a window – This means you will be able to glance out the window at objects in the distance. Nadeem recommends the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes look into the distance as far as 20 feet for up to 20 seconds. This avoids eye strain throughout the day.
Take regular breaks from your screen or phone – Giving your eyes regular breaks is very important to allow you to re-focus, look away into the distance and give the muscles in your eyes a break from staring at one point. Ideally getting outdoors is preferable as this will allow your eyes to consume more Vitamin D – essential for overall eye health.
Remember to blink! This may sound strange but when staring at a screen or phone the number of times we blink in a minute can drop and put eyes at risk of drying out. Dry eyes can be very uncomfortable and cause difficulty concentrating and even sleeping.
Ensure you’re up to date with your eye tests. As well as detecting short and long sightedness, eye tests can also detect health issues such as astigmatism, lazy eye (amblyopia), color blindness, cataracts, even general health problems like diabetes. Opticians can recommend the latest technology such as blue filter lenses, a coating that can be placed on non-prescription lenses that blocks out certain blue wavelengths from screens – ideal for those that are required to work with computers for more than 3-4 hours a day.
Dark Mode – if you’re working late in the evening, bright light is known to disrupt circadian rhythms. In response tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have released Dark Modes to make screens ‘easier on your eyes’. Not everyone likes to activate this, but less blue light makes it easier to get off to sleep.
Implementing these easy measures are quick ways to ensure optimum eye health, reduce tiredness and increase productivity, allowing you to be more productive for longer periods of time.
Malik Eye Care provides a range of eye health care for adults and children, providing a personal service tailored to each patient to ensure outstanding levels of clinical care in the local communities of Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island. Click here to request an appointment with our team of award-winning doctors and surgeons.