It wasn’t but a few decades ago that writers would write on typewriters, artists would paint with raw tools, and there were no web developers or website designers. Back then, designers were anyone that would use the might brush or pen as their sword.
But today, almost all professions are wired to computers – seemingly working 24/7. There are word processors, Photoshop, and web design software solutions galore. The result: A generation of people with worsening vision.
This doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it, though. In recognition of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, here are some ways to protect our eyes while being stuck to technology.
1. Reduce monitor glare. One cause of eye strain is too much glare. Reduce glare by installing anti-glare screens covers on monitors. Many monitors come equipped with this, but you can buy add-on anti-glare covers for those without. You can also paint the walls with dark colors to minimize reflections. Make sure that your monitor is 30 inches away from your eyes, too, to minimize eye strain.
2. Blink more often. Blinking frequently moistens the eye, preventing dryness and irritation. Studies say that those who work with computers blink less frequently. And even if they blink, it’s only a partial lid closure. Here’s an exercise to try: Blink 10 times slowly after every 20 minutes of work.
3. Proper posture and sufficient distance. Working with computers for a long period can also cause muscle pains and fatigue, not just eye strain. Prevent fatigue by maintaining good posture throughout your work time.
4. Take frequent breaks. An effective technique known as 20-20 has proven good results in preventing eye strain. The rule: After 20 minute of work, watch an object 20 feet away. This allows your eyes to relax. Also, when doing your breaks, stand up and stretch. You’re not a robot.
5. Readjust computer display. Set your monitor’s display settings according to your eyes comfort. Brightness should compliment the lighting in your office, and text size should be set to a comfortable level. Lastly, reduce blue light as it is one of the main causes of eye strain. Eye specialists suggest downloading F.lux – a software designed to replace blue light with a warm color.