Researchers have recently discovered that most office workers spend over 1,000 hours each year staring at their computer screens. Now that more and more people are working from home, this number has only increased. How can we protect our eyes from screens? Read on and discover five ways.
- Take Frequent Breaks
One way that our eyes stay healthy is by natural eye movements that occur during face-to-face conversations or by observing natural stimuli. Constant movement creates increased lubrication, and this softness is what keeps our eyes feeling comfortable. Staring at screens all day reduces the amount of time we move our eyes, reducing the blink rate significantly.
The bottom line is that frequent screen time causes dryness and a host of other problems to arise as a result. For instance, eye dryness leads to slower reading speed, causing people to stare at screens longer, promoting more dryness. If these habits continue, people can develop dry eye, a chronic condition of eye inflammation.
So how can you cope with these issues? By taking time to give your eyes the necessary breaks they need. To protect your eyes from screens, follow a routine that works for you. Depending on your schedule, you may decide to take small visual breaks every twenty minutes or so. Take your gaze off your device and stare at something in your natural environment. Nature is healing to the body, and this includes your eyes. If possible, during your breaks, step outside and enjoy an outdoor view.
- Artificial Tear Drops
If you notice that your eyes feel dry, keep artificial tear drops from Target with you to provide relief. There are many over-the-counter options you can pick up at your pharmacy. Choose natural alternatives that are free of preservatives. Don’t just splash water in your eyes, as it is not lubricated enough to retain the moisture your eyes need and may worsen dryness.
If you wear contact lenses, remember that lenses shrink over time, so if it’s time to refresh with a new pair, don’t put off doing so. Your eyes will work harder trying to adjust to different prescriptions with a shrunken lens, and this will promote eye strain, dryness, and even migraines if worn for an extended period. Make sure you follow through on your yearly eye exam to prevent eye strain and migraines.
- Adjust Your Brightness
When engaging in screen time, adjust your brightness to the lighting of the room. When a computer’s light is brighter than the natural environment, our eyes have to work much harder to see clearly. You can also get a screen filter to dim the light further or manipulate both the brightness in the room and your screen by wearing MVMT’s blue light glasses for men.
- Reposition Yourself and Your Screen
Position yourself about one arm’s length from the screen. Tilt your device so that the screen is facing downward. By doing so, your eyes will also gaze downward which will reduce the intensity of screen exposure.
- Wear a Sleeping Mask at Bedtime
Give your eyes additional support by making it as dark as possible when it’s time for sleep. Get a Slip eye mask to wear over your eyes for a blackout effect. Aim to get eight hours of rest. Keeping your sleep environment dark will promote better eye health and sleep.
If you follow these suggestions and continue to suffer from dry eye or eye strain, reach out to an ophthalmologist to rule out any other issues impacting your vision and general eye health. You may need a new prescription or have an underlying health condition to treat.