Please note that the below information is intended to be observed as guidelines, and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor with any questions you may have regarding eye strain or a medical condition.
According to the US Census conducted in 2017, more than 5% of Americans work from home full-time. But due to recent events, that number has skyrocketed.
If you suddenly find yourself working from home for the first time, or work from home regularly, odds are that you may be experiencing some eye strain.
Here’s the good news: eye strain from looking at a computer, tablet, or phone screen is no worse than eye strain that comes with other close-up activities such as reading, writing, or sewing.
If you’re experiencing tired, blurry, or dry eyes due to computer use or other close-up activities, there are several things you can do to try and alleviate eye strain at home.
Tips for Alleviating Computer Eye Strain:
This seems like an obvious one, but according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, when we look at digital devices, we tend to only blink 5-7 times per minute, compared to the 15 times per minute we do normally.
If your eyes are feeling dry and tired, make a conscious effort to blink more frequently, as this is the eye’s natural way of getting the moisture it needs.
2. Use eye drops.
Yep, you guessed it. Another way to ensure your eyes are receiving the moisture they need and aren’t drying out due to the aforementioned lack of blinking is to invest in some over the counter lubricating artificial tears.
3. Take frequent breaks.
Along with less frequent blinking, another thing that tends to happen when we work with screens is that we keep our eyes in one place for too long.
If you find your eyes beginning to feel tired, take a break! A great way to do this is to follow the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, take a break for at least 20 seconds to look at something that is at least 20 feet away.
4. Use a pair of computer glasses.
Another way to fight eye strain is to invest in a pair of computer glasses. These are not the same as the increasingly popular blue-light blocking glasses. Computer glasses are prescription lenses that specifically help your eyes to adjust to and focus on a computer screen. Talk with your eye doctor to see if a pair of prescription computer glasses are right for you.
5. Improve the quality of air in your space.
Dry air is a frequent cause of tired, dry eyes. If you’re sitting in a position in which air is blowing directly on you, you may want to consider changing your position, or turning down the A/C or fan. You could also invest in a humidifier to keep the air in your workspace from becoming too dry.
6. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and position of your device.
If your device is at too bright of a setting, it can make it harder for your eyes to see. A large amount of glare can also contribute to your eyes having to work harder than they need to. The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests keeping your device at a brightness equal to the brightness of the room, increasing the contrast on your screen, and sitting about 25 inches away from your device.
If your eyes have been feeling a bit tired recently, rest assured that what you’re feeling is likely completely normal. Following these tips should help you experience relief from occasional feelings of eye strain.
However, if you feel that your symptoms are more severe, or experience prolonged pain or blurriness, please consult your eye doctor.
If you have more questions about eye strain, schedule a virtual consultation with us! Give us a call at 541-779-4711.