How to Protect Your Eyes If You Work on a Computer Daily?
Modern technology has changed much of how we work and play. Most of us spend long hours looking at computer screens as a routine part of our jobs every day. After work, we may watch a Netflix episode on the flat screen while scrolling through our social media feed on a mobile device.
And while these behaviors are seemingly harmless, the consequence of chronic heavy screen use can cause lasting damage to our health –starting with our vision. If you work on a computer daily, here’s what you can do to protect your eyes:
Develop Healthy Screen Viewing Habits
You can do yourself a huge favor by practicing healthy screen habits. During extended computer use, make it a priority to look away from your screen every 20 minutes. When you do, spend at least 20 seconds looking at something that is at least 20 feet away. For every hour of work, take a 5-minute break away from your computer screen. Avoid the temptation to look at any other screen, such as your phone.
Mind Your Ergonomics
Screen brightness, flicker rates, ambient lighting, screen glare, and body position relative to the screen can all impact the amount of burden your computer will place on your body. You can protect your eyes by implementing good ergonomics at your desk. Experts suggest your screen should be about 24-28 inches from your face, with the top of the screen slightly below the level of your eyes.
While you’re at it, make sure your chair and desk are set up to minimize the wear and tear on the rest of your body. It’s all part of caring for your overall health anyway.
Respect Screen Influence on Sleep
Healthy screen habits also include knowing when to stop looking at screens for the day. It’s well known that digital screens emit blue light that can interfere with the body’s ability to create melatonin –a hormone responsible for the circadian rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. The research indicates that looking at screens within 1-2 hours before bed can delay sleep onset by an hour and discourage deeper restorative sleep levels. With that in mind, be sure to shut off all screens well before bedtime so that your body can prepare for sleep.
Listen to Your Body
If you’re logging a lot of time in front of the computer screen and you begin to notice eye strain, headaches, or other symptoms, wrap it up and give yourself a rest. Eat a healthy diet and provide yourself with plenty of sleep to aid in recovery. Chronically pushing yourself is likely to agitate the problem further, causing ongoing symptoms of discomfort, pain, and inability to focus.
Visit Your Eye Doctor
Good health practices include visiting your eye doctor for regular checkups. They can help protect your eyes by monitoring prescriptions and managing any eye conditions that you may be experiencing. If you need an exam, call to schedule a time to visit an optometrist about your eyes.