Protect your eyes at the workplace

Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic Journalist

 Vision is our most precious of senses. No matter what field you work, chances are that you use some sort of technology every day. So, protecting the eyes and vision in the workplace is extremely important.

You might be busy at work every day, but if you aren’t taking care of your eyes between projects and meetings, that could cause irritation, dryness, and other effects.

Eye fatigue is common when muscles lose flexibility and tone due to tedious visual activities manifesting in pain, tiredness, headaches, and even blurred or double vision. However, exercising the eyes and keeping them sharp can reduce eye strain and improve eyesight.

Tips to protect your eyes at work

Protecting your eyes in the office is one of the most important things you can do. You may think you’re safe because you’re not working in a factory or warehouse where danger is apparent. But, working in an office presents its own set of challenges. Sure, you might not be in immediate physical harm, but you are susceptible to vision impairments due to your work environment. Impaired vision at work can cause you to be less productive. Plus, it will start to affect your everyday life.

A common vision condition that affects many office workers is digital eye strain. Similar to computer vision syndrome (CVS), digital eye strain is caused by too much screen time. When your eyes are exposed to the blue light of the screen and small fonts, they become over-focused and overworked.

Digital eye strain can have several symptoms. This includes:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain

Digital eye strain may also affect your sleep. The blue light messes with your biological clock. This fools your brain into thinking that it’s daytime when it is actually nighttime.

But, before you quit your office job for something a little less stressful on the eyes, consider this: digital eye strain is 100 percent preventable and treatable. So, do these tips to protect your eyes:

1. Adjust your computer’s position



Try moving your monitor away from the window or, if that’s not possible, put-up blinds or curtains to block out some of the light.

For a more comfortable workday in front of your computer, place it at arm’s length away. Then make sure that your direct eye line falls somewhere two to three inches below the top of the monitor. You can do this by either adjusting the actual monitor or your chair.

Studies suggest that it is best to position your computer’s monitor between 50 – 71 centimeters from your face, so do set up your desk appropriately. Do make sure your monitor is at the right height, so you don’t have to strain your neck into an awkward position to look at your screen.

2. Adjust its brightness

You need to adjust the brightness on your computer. If you have it at 100 percent brightness, you need to lower it immediately. Bright lights emitting from your screens will only cause your eyes to fatigue. In the long run, this will make you less productive.

Lower it to about 75 percent if you work in a brightly lit office. If you’re working in an office with more natural light or natural lighting, you may be able to get away with a brightness of 45 percent. Play around and find which brightness level is most comfortable for your eyes.

You should also make sure the size of the font isn’t too small, as your eyes will have to do more work to focus on the text.

3. Open the blinds

Speaking of natural light, if you have the option to open the blinds to your office windows and turn off those horrid fluorescent lights. This is obviously not a viable option for people who don’t have their own corner office with lots of natural light.

But if you work in a cubicle or an office with no windows, buying a small lamp that emits a light closer in tone to natural lighting can make all the difference. Natural light isn’t harsh on the eyes. It will also eliminate the glare on your computer screen. Natural lighting will also make you less likely to feel sleepy throughout the day.

4. Get the right pair of glasses

Make sure your glasses prescription is up to date. Using an old pair of glasses with an outdated prescription may result in difficulties in reading, and consequently eye strain. An overcorrected prescription may also cause eye strain.

5. Give your eyes a break.

One great way to rest your eyes at work is by following the “20-20-20” rule. If you’re not able to get away from your desk that often, try exercising your eyes instead. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, gaze at an object that’s at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. This relaxes the eye muscles you’re using to focus and helps keep your eyes alert for longer.

You can use the Habitomic app to remind you in this regard.

6. Wear blue light glasses.

If you’ve noticed that the blue light from your technology is causing discomfort to your eyes, you might benefit from wearing blue light glasses.

7. Administer eye drops throughout the day.

Red, itchy and dry eyes are a few symptoms that can manifest from staring at a digital screen for too long and may benefit from moisturizing eye drops. There are two types of artificial tear drops, one that contains preservatives and one that does not. Some people find that the preservatives irritate their eyes and so they need to use a preservative-free variety.

8. Eat healthy snacks.

One way to support your overall eye health is by eating healthy snacks. Many foods are good for your eyes, including raw, sliced red bell peppers; hummus and veggies; or broccoli with ranch dressing.

9. Consult an eye specialist

Sometimes, eye strain or blurring of vision may be caused by underlying problems with the eye such as dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. If you have been experiencing prolonged and severe Computer Vision Syndrome, it is best to consult an eye specialist. Early detection and treatment can help to prevent serious eye conditions.

2 simple exercises to give your eyes a rest

  • Try palming

After staring at a computer screen all day, palming can help relax muscles and reduce tension.

  1. Rub your palms together to create heat
  2. Hold cupped hands, without pressing, over your eyes for 5-10 minutes
  3. Allow your eyes to relax in complete darkness and embrace the warm energy emanating from your palms
  • Blink rapidly

Intensely focusing and working up-close limits the eyes to blink less. Rapid blinking loosens eye muscles and prevents dry eyes.

  1. Rub your palms together to create heat
  2. Hold cupped hands, without pressing, over your eyes for 5-10 minutes
  3. Allow your eyes to relax in complete darkness and embrace the warm energy emanating from your palms

To sum up, it’s the eyes that lead us through the day and get us home after a long day. Prevent blurry vision in the future by exercising your eyes to improve their function and performance. These exercises and tips can be done at any time of the day and all you need is the willingness to give your eyes a well-deserved rest.