Back to work: how your office might be bad for your eyesight
A lot of us are going back to the office after a long time. Now more than ever it’s important to think about our health, and eye health should not be left behind. Whether in the office or at home it’s important to be mindful of the ways we are working that might be adversely affecting our eyes and overall health.
Have you heard of computer vision syndrome (CVS)? It’s also known as digital eye strain and is one of the most common issues related to working in front of the computer for long periods. Be more aware of the changes that are going through your body so that you can pick up on the warning signs and act accordingly. If you are in the office and experiencing headaches, blurred vision, distorted vision or eye strain then it’s time to do one of the following things to achieve optimum work/health balance.
Take regular breaks
Our eyes are not designed to stare at a screen for long periods but in the modern world, screens are ubiquitous. The solution? Use the 20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a short break and look at an object 20 feet away (or 6 metres. 20/6 isn’t nearly as catchy). This is like a reset button for your eyes. You should also make it a habit to take a break every hour by getting up from your desk and not looking at a screen for at least 5 minutes.
Use proper lighting
Your screen should be the same light as your surroundings. Adjust your brightness levels on your monitor so that it’s not too bright or too dark. This is so that your eyes aren’t constantly forced to adjust to varying levels of brightness. You should also avoid using screens in dark rooms. Reflections are also bad so if there are reflections on your screen from windows or overhead lighting it’s time to either adjust your screen or send an email to HR.
Did you know studies show people blink far less often when using screens? You can see how that would be bad for your eyes. Not blinking results in your eyes to be dry, itchy and bloodshot. This is all exacerbated by your office air conditioner. If you feel like your eyes are getting dry and irritated try consciously blinking more, or for mild cases get an eye lubricant after taking the advice of your optician.
Don’t sit too close to your screen
Ever tried sitting an arms-length from your screen? Try it. Does it feel strange? Make it a habit because this is how far you should be from your computer screen at all times. It also
promotes good posture because people tend to unconsciously lean forward when working for long periods.
Eat snacks that improve your vision
Some foods are great for overall eye health. Look for office snacks that contain vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, zeaxanthin and lutein. Veggies, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit is the best way to go for all these nutrients.
Going outside and taking a short break is good for your soul during a hectic workday anyway. But it’s also an opportunity for your eyes to focus on things that are far away and get rid of the strain of being in the close quarters of an office. When you do, it’s good practice to wear sunglasses considering our eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV light than our skin.
How to get an eye exam
You can easily get an eye exam at any Vision Express outlet. Before seeing an optometrist, they’ll have an eye-health screening so we can determine if you have any underlying conditions that might be contributing to their vision problems. When you visit the optometrist, we will ask you about existing medical conditions, prescription medication history, as well as family-related health problems. You can find more details about what to expect during an eye-test at Vision Express on our website.