How Working From Home Can Affect Your Eyesight
As the country is once again in a national lockdown; people are again setting up desks in their kitchens, dining rooms, or living rooms and working from home. Whilst this kind of lifestyle might be beneficial for some people, it can be a real headache for others. Along with having a negative effect on your neck, spine, and shoulders, there’s evidence to suggest that working from home can have a negative effect on your eyesight.
When you work in an office, it’s likely that your desk, chair, computer screen, keyboard and even the lighting has been specifically designed to be ergonomic and suitable for working. This means that you can work for long periods and remain comfortable. There is, in fact, a guide for workplaces on how to make sure your office is ergonomic for your workers.
If you’re working from home at the moment, it’s likely you may have set up a temporary desk on the dining room table, or maybe even on the sofa. These workspaces are not designed for sitting and concentrating for long periods. Additionally, the soft lighting that is used in homes means that there isn’t sufficient light on specific areas. This kind of lighting from lamps and low-energy bulbs whilst you’re at a screen means you could be causing long-term damage to your eyes. And may be one reason why you’re struggling to focus on your work more. Your eyes could be getting slightly more irritated than usual.
Why This Happens
The BBC recently reported that people’s screen time during the spring lockdown was up by almost a third compared to pre-lockdown. This is bad news for our eyes! This increased screen time can lead to a form of eye strain called Computer Vision Syndrome.
When you’re looking at a computer, you might notice that you’re blinking less than you normally would. As a result, the protective film over your eyes dries out and becomes irritable. If you often get this kind of irritation, read one of our previous blog posts on how to prevent eyestrain from computers.
This eye strain caused by increased use in screen time carries symptoms such as; headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and occasionally struggling to focus.
Make Sure Your Work From Home Setup is Kind to your Eyes
Unfortunately, we don’t just mean making sure your desk is instagram-worthy, clean and tidy. (so many work from home images online this year!) In order to make your home desk a nice place for your eyes, make sure there’s as much natural light as possible. Avoid dark and dingy corners where the light from the computer screen is glaring into your eyes. Whilst natural light is good; you don’t want too much of it. Ideally, you want to find somewhere that means you’re not squinting to look at the screen.
It’s also important to make sure you’re far enough away from the screen, and your screen is at the right height for your eyes. It’s advised that you keep your screens at arm’s length from your eyes. (How many of you just checked that?) You should also make sure that the top of the screen is level with your eyes whilst you’re sitting at the desk.
In addition to this guidance, it’s recommended that you take regular breaks, and don’t forget to blink! It’s suggested that every 20 minutes of looking at the screen, move your focus away from the screen to something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s also a good idea to get up and walk around regularly as well. Whilst you’re taking these breaks, remember to catch up on some much-needed blinking to give your eyes some moisture!
Perhaps also invest in some comfort drops, that will give you a bit of relief after a long day, adding a temporary amount of moisture for your sore eyes.
Contact lenses can also dry your eyes out more, so perhaps have the odd day when you wear your glasses instead.
Regularly Having Trouble with your eyes?
If you’re regularly having trouble with your eyes throughout the day; why not book an appointment with Focus Medical Eye Centre and get a professional eye examination. If you’ve noticed a change in the sharpness of your vision recently, you might need glasses or an update to your current glasses prescription.
We are an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex. So if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes; please call in and see us!