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How to prevent computer eye strain when working from home

Post on 12th April 2022

As an eyecare provider for over 80 years, we understand the importance of taking care of your vision with safe practices and regular eye tests. In the evolving environment of working from home, screen time has skyrocketed. As a result, video call meetings and email communication has also increased. Eye strain from computers can be hard to manage as we adjust to the new working environment, which can leave you questioning how to stop eye strain?

While working from home has an array of benefits, including saving time and money on commuting, it can lead to computer eye strain from the increased screen exposure. With this in mind, taking care of your eyes is a necessity in the new normal.

As a leading opticians in the UK, we have answered some frequently asked questions about computer eye strain and put together some tips on how to stop eye strain when using a computer screen.

  • Do screens damage your eyes?

Do you find yourself wondering ‘are screens bad for your eyes’? The short answer to that question is yes. While research is still ongoing into the level of long term impact too much screen time can cause, it most definitely leads to a number of irritating eye problems.

Dry eyes and eye strain are two of the most common issues caused by using screens, and you may find you need to be even more careful if you have other eye conditions.

  • Is blinking good for your eyes?

Did you know that studies show we blink around half the amount we usually would when we are in front of a screen? This can lead to your eyes feeling dry and tired, so make a conscious effort to blink more often when you use your computer. If that is not enough – try to keep your eyes hydrated in other ways, such as with eye drops.

Keeping your eyes hydrated can be even more vital if you wear contact lenses as they will start to dry out and feel uncomfortable. For this reason, people often choose to have both contact lenses and glasses so they can switch, depending on the situation. Reduce your computer eye strain by taking advantage of our half price second pair offer, where you can get contact lenses as a second pair.

  • How far away should the screen be from your eyes?

How we use our screens can dictate a lot about their impact on us, so taking time to ensure your environment is working for you is key. Some of the ways to reduce computer eye strain are:

  • Making sure your screen is positioned the correct distance from where you sit
  • Ensuring the lighting is optimal
  • Maintaining good posture

When creating your computer setup, you should aim to have your screen between 40 and 75 centimetres from your eyes. This is not the only way to prevent computer eye strain; having the top of your screen in line with your eyes or slightly below, and tilting your screen to a 10-20 degree angle can also reduce eye strain.

  • How do you rest your eyes?

Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? Research suggests that looking at an object 20 metres away, for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of screen time can help to reduce computer eye strain and keep your vision clear. Try to practise this when using your screen for extended periods of time.

Furthermore, if you have an optical prescription that requires glasses, particularly when you are concentrating, not wearing glasses will force your eyes to work harder, leading to tired eyes and headaches.

  • How do you stop computer eye strain from computers?

Firstly, make sure you are following all the above steps to stop computer eye strain when using a computer screen. Sometimes computer eye strain can indicate a bigger vision problem. If increasing your screen’s font size doesn’t help or you often find you are getting headaches, you may be in need of glasses. Make sure to get your eyes tested to avoid further deterioration.

We hope this advice will help you to manage your screen time safely and reduce computer eye strain. Even with this advice, having your eyes tested regularly is still the best way to detect any problems early and keep them healthy.

If your eye test is due or you have noticed any changes in your vision, make sure to book an eye test here.

If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog exploring the spring/summer eyewear trends.