Most of us know that eating a well-balanced diet and leading an active lifestyle is critical in maintaining optimal health, but could you be neglecting one of the most important areas of your health? If you spend hours each day looking at a computer screen or tablet, then your eyes could be under constant strain.
With all of today’s technology it’s easy to build up long hours in front of computer screens, smart phones, tablets and televisions. Whilst these don’t necessarily cause eye damage, over time they can lead to significant health issues like dry and fatigued eyes, and even headaches. Today we want to talk about two of the most common eye health issues that can occur in an office-based work environment, and what you can do to protect your eyes at work.
Every minute the average person blinks approximately 18 times. When working at a screen, they blink just under half that number of times. This can result in dry and irritated eyes.
The solution is simple - blink. As simple as that sounds, when you’re focussed on what you’re reading or watching on a screen it can be hard to remember to blink. To overcome this, you can get creative my sticking post-it notes to your screen, or by telling yourself that each time you open a new email you’ll make a conscious effort to blink throughout reading it. It may seem hard at first but the longer you persevere, the easier it will be come. You can also use eyedrops a couple of times during the day to lubricate your eyes.
If you’ve ever had to spend extra hours at work preparing an important presentation, or a long night on the laptop frantically finishing a uni assignment, then you would have experienced eye fatigue - when you’re not tired per se, but all you want to do it close your eyes for a bit of instant relief.
The solution to eye fatigue? Ensure the room you’re working in is well lit and position the screen so you have about an arm’s length distance between your eyes and the screen. Reduce glare by using an anti-glare film over your screen and ensuring adequate lighting.
By taking frequent breaks away from your screen, your eyes and body will remain refreshed. Try to follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes take a break from your screen for a minute to focus on an object in the distance, stand up and stretch, and spend a few seconds blinking to relubricate the eyes.
These simple solutions will help protect your eyes at the office but it’s also important to ensure you’re getting regular eye checks at your local optometrist. If you’re still wearing the same reading glasses you had in high school a decade ago, it’s time to upgrade! Most eye checks are covered for Medicare card holders so book one in today!