A year ago, we seemed to be stuck on the idea of “getting back to normal.” We wanted the COVID-19 pandemic to end and for life to resume as we’ve always known it. In some ways, we’re seeing the improvements we had wanted. More than going back to the way things were, though, we’re entering a new normal. One of the new aspects of life is the prevalence of working from home. Many people have yet to return to an office building. Instead, offices are set up in spare rooms or right at the dining room table. There are advantages to this, and also some consequences, if we’re not careful. Here, we discuss some of the tips that we suggest to avoid digital eye strain and its uncomfortable symptoms.
It’s All About the Lighting
Lighting is one of the biggest challenges of any workspace. Without the right lighting, the eyes can quickly strain and squint to see well. One of the issues related to lighting is glare. Eye strain can occur if your back is to an open window with bright light streaming in. It can also occur if you are facing a brightly lit window or bright light. In these situations, proper curtains can help you avoid eye strain. Light is also an issue directly on the screen. You may be more comfortable if you adjust your settings to “night light” or “night mode,” which can dim the brightness of your screen.
Computer Settings to Know
In addition to knowing how to adjust the brightness of your digital screens (including your phone), you can play with optimizing the font size on your devices. Larger font can ease the stress on your eyes when you do a lot of reading or typing. Finally, where you place your computer matters. It isn’t optimal to sit with a laptop on your lap all day because your head is tilted forward for too long. It also isn’t optimal to have to look up at a computer screen. Ideally, your computer will sit arm’s length from your eyes and just below eye level.
Simple Habits for Happier Eyes
If you work on a computer, you’ve likely heard of the 20-20-20 rule. This suggests that we look away from the screen every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds. During that time, we look at something across the room or, ideally, about 20 feet away. At first, it may be necessary to set a timer to remind yourself to take digital breaks. Eventually, this becomes a habit that is easy to keep. Blinking is also a practice that we may need to remind ourselves to do. When we’re concentrating, we don’t blink as often, which can lead to eye irritation. To maintain eye lubrication, close your eyes for a few seconds every few minutes.
We are here to help you maintain healthy eyes and optimal eyesight. Contact our Amarillo office at (806) 351-1177 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Murrell.