Has Working From Home Been Taking Its Toll On You?
Here are 5 Tips To Make It A Bit More Bearable
It has been a time of transition for all of us as we find our new normal amid COVID-19. We know many are struggling financially, emotionally, and physically as this pandemic takes its toll. We are thinking of you during this unprecedented time.
With the number of you who have transitioned to working from home, you may be noticing more symptoms of digital eye strain.
The headaches. The dry, tired eyes. The blurry vision. The neck and shoulder pain.
Perhaps you have children who are now doing school online, as are some of my grandchildren. They may be voicing similar complaints.
Just like any other muscle that tires or feels sore after intense exercise, our eyes fatigue after looking at screens for too long. While it is unrealistic to stop using your laptop or smartphone, you can implement a few tricks to give your eyes a much-needed rest.
- Practice the 20/20/20 rule: After every 20 minutes looking at a screen, take a rest for 20 seconds by looking at something 20 feet away. This quick activity will allow your eyes to relax and refocus.
- Adjust the position of your device: Bad posture may be contributing to your neck, shoulder, or back pain. Sit up tall and prop your screen up so that it is about 10 to 15 degrees below eye level. This will reduce the strain from your eyes and neck and may lessen the frequency of headaches. Additionally, there should be about an arm’s length between you and your screen. Holding a device too close to your face will increase the likelihood of eye strain.
- Check the lighting: I’ve been going on walks outside and noticed more people setting up their work space in their dimly-lit garage. Lighting is very important for reducing eye strain. If possible, I recommend setting up a bright lamp near your work space. Just as reading a book in low lighting forces your eyes to work harder to see, so will looking at a dimly lit screen. Adjust the brightness settings on your device so that it is neither too dark nor too bright. It should be about as bright as the light surrounding your space.
- Don’t forget to blink: You may not realize it, but many people forget to blink frequently when in front of a screen. Blinking is essential for keeping the eye moist, and not doing it may contribute to your eye irritation, dryness, and red eyes. Making the extra effort to blink more often can make a big difference.
- Consider computer glasses: We recognize this may not be possible immediately while we have restrictions for going out, but getting glasses specifically for computer use is a good option if you are prone to digital eye strain. Not only will glasses provide extra comfort in front of your screen, but they can help you see clearer and with fewer side-effects of eye strain.
I’d love to talk to you to see if you are a good candidate for computer eye glasses. (Truth be told, most people notice a huge difference for the better).
Video: How to reduce computer-related eyestrain:
We hope you are staying home and staying healthy.
All the best,
Dr. Ashcraft and Staff