Our lives revolve around screens — our laptops, phones, tablets and TVs. We rarely give our eyes a break from a constant stream of damaging blue light. It’s no wonder so many of us have poor eyesight. It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t suffer some form of eye strain in the modern age. If your eyes are often red with broken capillaries, twitching involuntarily, or your vision is becoming blurred, then you’re probably suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome. The reason this occurs is that we’re training our eyes to follow the same patterns towards the same harsh light repetitively every day. Research says 50% – 90% of working adults experience symptoms related to CVS — if you’re one of them it might be time to start practising these five healthy habits!
We can get complacent and pore into our laptop screens for hours when we’rebinge watching our favourite shows or working on important presentations for work. The rule of thumb you should follow is sitting at an arm’s length from the screen in front of you. Don’t sit too close, or too far that you have to squint and strain to see.
2. Keep Your Screen Clean
Our eyes are clever, and adjust to ignore impediments in our sight. For example, did you know we can see our nose at all times? Our eyes have just learned to look past it. Similarly, we look past the stains and dirt on our computer screens — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bothering our eyes. Clean your screens properly and frequently. Dirty fingerprints and dust can cause more strain on the eyes. Another pro-tip is to use matte screen filters to stop unwanted light from irritating your eyes and minimise the extra bright, dazzling effect the light can have.
3. Adjust Room Lighting
Taking a break from our super bright laptops to average room lighting can be jarring for our eyes, which might be why you notice sometimes your eyes can glaze over while adjusting. Match your room lighting to the level of lighting from your laptop screen to lessen the contrast. You can also use curtains to stop sunlight directly falling onto your screen and ricocheting into your eyes. Switch off overhead fluorescent lights to reduce glare as well, and maybe use soft lamps instead.
4. The 20-20-20 Rule
This is another handy rule of thumb to keep in mind. If your work requires you to sit at a computer all the day, or your Netflix addiction has begun compelling you to stay in bed staring at your laptop screen all day, pay attention to this rule! The 20-20-20 rule is easy. Take a 20-second long break after every 20 minutes of computer use, and try to focus on a single object 20 feet away from you. You can set a reminder on your phone for every 20 minutes too. Try to focus on any far away object for 20 seconds — this is how long it takes to your eyes to completely relax after they’ve been fixated on a single space for a long time.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water, but this can exasperate the pressure your eyes are feeling. Dry eyes blink less, which causes more strain. Less moisture is being produced within the eye itself which might be causing irritation. Moreover, offices and bedrooms can become dry spaces with the frequent use of air conditioners. Invest in and use air humidifiers, and keep a big bottle of water with you to keep hydrated all day. It’s the relief your eyes need!