With so many of us now working in sedentary office jobs where our eyes are fixated on the screen in front of us for eight or more hours a day, we often forget to realise how tiring it can be – not so much physically on our bodies, but mentally and visually.
I don’t know about you, but as soon as I leave work, I can’t wait to take my eyes away from the computer screen and actually absorb my surroundings as opposed to a word document or an internet page. After all, though we don’t always realise it, computer screens, iPads and phones are incredibly strenuous on our eyes, particularly when we are looking at them all day.
And it doesn’t take long at all for eye strain symptoms to develop, either. In fact, studies have found that just two hours in front of the screen can begin to put people at risk. Two hours absolutely flies by when you’re busy working or browsing the web, too. Just think how quickly time passes by as your scrolling through your social feeds – before you know it, that two hours has already passed, and your eyes are starting to feel the pressure.
But fear not, while eye strain is a prevalent issue, particularly amongst the younger generations, it’s important to note that there are things you can do to help alleviate screen-related eye problems – and we’re going to share all of the tips with you right here…
Adjust the brightness of your screen
Whether it’s your laptop, phone or tablet, screen glare is horrendous for causing eye strain and headaches. So, whilst we’ve got your attention, why not have a fiddle with the settings on your phone and adjust the brightness of your screen? By reducing the brightness even slightly, the strain on your eyes could be reduced massively, and you’ll also prevent other issues such as headaches and migraines.
Remember to blink!
This might sound silly, but actually, so many people ‘forget’ to blink once they become fixated on the screen that they’re looking at. By forgetting to blink, our eyes dry out very quickly, which can cause itchiness and general irritation. Another top tip with this one is to carry eyedrops in your handbag, or just leave them on your desk at work. Eye drops offer a quick fix for dry, irritated eyes, and provide a pleasant cooling sensation.
Staring at reams and reams of small, closely compacted text on a screen can result in squinting and leaning even closer to the screen itself. As a result, general fatigue, headaches, and a number of other issues are highly likely. Prevent such issues from developing by increasing the size of the text and adjust the colour contrast so that things are easier to read.
Have a break and focus elsewhere
Often referred to as the ’20-20-20’ rule, experts recommend that all those working in front of a screen take regular breaks. The general idea is that after 20 minutes of work, you take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away from you. Research has proven that this simple technique is good for the muscles insider our eyes. The eyes have muscles that help them to move and focus on different objects. However, if we stare at the same screen for hours at a time, these muscles find it difficult to adjust when we do move again.