For many professionals, work is synonymous with staring at a computer screen for a big chunk of the day. And it’s also no wonder why a staggering 73% of young adults suffer from digital eye strain.
That’s why it’s more important now than ever to take proper care of your eyes at work.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got some simple things you can do to care for your eyes.
Eye Strain Symptoms
Before we dive into our tips for eye strain relief, you should get familiar with the most common symptoms that your eyes need a break.
They can include things like:
- Tired eyes and discomfort
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Red eyes
- Eye twitches
- Neck and shoulder pain
It’s important to understand these symptoms because you may be experiencing one or multiple of them without realizing what’s causing it.
11 Expert Tips for Computer Eye Strain Relief
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then you might want to consider one (or all) of the following tips.
1. Use Eye Drops
Eye drops are one of the easiest ways to relieve dry eyes caused by overstrain. This can be any eye drops you find at a pharmacy, like Visine or TheraTears. A few drops should do the trick.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Eye drops aren’t the only way to keep your eyes from drying out. Staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking water and reducing caffeine intake can also help.
If you’re not sure how much water to drink, the recommended daily water consumption amount is around 15.5 cups per day for men and around 11.5 cups for women.
3. Avoid Dry Air
If you can help it, do your best to steer clear of dry air. This isn’t always possible in an office setting since offices often have air conditioners that dry out the air or fans that circulate dust.
That said, you can still do your best to keep your personal workspace dust-free and to ensure fans and air conditioners aren’t pointed directly at your face.
If you work in a private office, you’ll probably have more control over temperatures and humidity in your immediate environment, and you can also look into larger-sized humidifiers for your space.
If not, you can use a desktop humidifier that will at least offer some improvement.
4. Take Frequent Breaks
Taking brief breaks throughout the day can do wonders for eye strain relief.
Whether it’s getting up to grab a cup of coffee, having a stretch, or getting outside, the breaks don’t have to be long. Just make sure you take them.
If you want to make sure you actually do so, schedule them into your calendar to keep you accountable.
5. Blink More Often
Before you roll your eyes at this tip, hear us out.
Under normal circumstances, we blink between 15 and 20 times per minute which spreads tears evenly over our eyes and stops them from getting dry and irritated. But when we’re looking at a screen, that number can be as little as seven to ten times per minute.
So, as much as “blink more” might seem obvious, we need to make a conscious effort to do so when we’re working.
6. Eat Foods That Improve Eye Health
Your diet can have a huge impact on the health of your eyes. For instance, foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E support the complexity of cells in your retina and Omega-3 fatty acids are great at preventing dry eyes.
If you’re wondering what types of foods meet these criteria, you can try:
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits
- Nuts and legumes like lentils, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts
- Fatty fish like tuna and salmon
7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleeping doesn’t just rest your eye muscles. It also refreshes your eyes with nutrients and tears. When it comes to avoiding eye strain, having a regular and adequate sleep schedule is a must.
Failing to do so can cause the blood vessels in our eyes to dilate, leading to irritation and eye fatigue during the workday.
As much as possible, do your best to get a full eight hours of sleep each night.
8. Adjust Screen Position
Even something as minor as the position of your monitor can have an impact on the wellbeing of your eyes.
Because the angle of your screen can alter the way your eyes focus on it.
For an optimal setup, your screen should be arm’s length away from your face and should be centered four to five inches below eye level to avoid you having to tilt your head to see it properly. Optimally, you want to be looking slightly downward when viewing the middle of your screen.
9. Use Appropriate Lighting
Lighting is critical to avoiding eye strain. So, when setting up your workspace, it’s important to remember a few key points.
First, avoid having a window either directly in front of or behind your desk. The window will create glare which will cause unnecessary strain on your eyes.
Secondly, it’s wise to adjust the brightness on your monitor so it’s not too bright but not too dark. As a generality, you don’t want to be squinting at your monitor. It’s also important to keep your screen clean, wiping off any dust and fingerprints that may cause undue discomfort for your eyes.
Last but not least, do your best to avoid fluorescent lights as much as possible. If you can, replace fluorescent bulbs with full-spectrum or daylight bulbs. Otherwise, see if you can turn off any overhead fluorescent lights and replace them with a desk lamp equipped with the right type of bulbs.
10. Replace Your Monitor
If your monitor is old and outdated, it’s important that you replace it. Look for an LCD monitor which eliminates glare. You can also find a monitor that filters out blue light as this type of light can cause headaches and even make it harder to fall asleep if used at night.
11. Get a Complete Eye Exam
Even if you don’t need glasses in your daily life, it’s worth seeing an optometrist to find out if you could benefit from reading or computer glasses. You can also get glasses that filter out the blue light that we mentioned in the previous point.
Eye strain is becoming increasingly more common in today’s digital age. So, in order to maintain the health of your eyes and to help keep your workdays productive, it’s vital that you take steps towards eye strain relief and prevention.
If you’re looking for a professional workspace that’s set up to empower your best work, get in touch with us today and come check out Launch Workplaces for yourself.