March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month – Give Your Eyes a Break!
Whatever may be blowing on the March winds, our focus this month is on the indoor “digital” environment and how it affects our eyes. Our ever-increasing use of electronic devices for work and leisure activities can lead to eye complaints, including eye strain, dry eye, headaches, and insomnia. This month, our eye care team at Atlantic Eye brings you some important tips to relieve and protect your eyes from the effects of too much screen time.
A recent study found that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen, not including phones and other digital devices. We tend to blink less when focusing on digital screens, and this may dry out the eyes. We also tend to view digital devices at less than ideal distances or angles.
- Keep your distance: The eyes actually have to work harder to see close up than far away. Try keeping the monitor or screen at arm’s length, about 25 inches away. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
- Reduce glare: Glass screens can produce glare that can aggravate the eye. Try using a matte screen filter.
- Adjust lighting: If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
- Give your eyes a break: Remember to blink and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking into the distance allows your eyes to relax.
- Keep eyes moist: Keep artificial tears at hand to help lubricate your eyes when they feel dry. Consider using a desktop humidifier. Office buildings have humidity-controlled environments that suck moisture out of the air. In winter, heaters on high can further dry your eyes.
- Stop using devices before bed: Too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone or other devices may make it harder to get to sleep. Limit screen time one to two hours before bedtime. Use nighttime settings on devices and computers that minimize blue light exposure.
- Try blue light glasses: Wearing glasses with a blue light filter can help reduce the glare and blue light.
If you still experience consistently dry, red eyes or eye pain, call us for an appointment with one of our Atlantic Eye doctors. This March, as we “spring forward,” we’re here to help you enjoy the added hour of daylight with healthy, more relaxed eyes!