The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in all of our lifestyles. People who used to travel to offices every day are now confined to their homes. Similarly, an alien term for many called “Work from Home” has now become the new norm. Most of us now spend hours on the computer screen doing video conferencing or work thus causing unusual strain on the eyes.
In this blog, I would be covering all the information regarding taking care of your eyes while working from home, along with some very simple but useful tips to keep the eyesight healthy and sharp.
How can coronavirus affect your eyes?
Coronavirus is a contagious disease and spreads through fluids coming out of the nose and mouth. The virus can enter a healthy person’s body through eyes, nose, and mouth.
In some cases, coronavirus can also cause pink eyes or conjunctivitis although it is a very rare case scenario. It is advised to visit the doctor immediately to understand the exact cause of conjunctivitis.
If you look at Screen all day while working from home
Apart from coronavirus affecting your eyes, there are other lifestyle changes that this pandemic has brought. One of which is working from home. A recent study concluded that employees end up working more hours working from home compared to the office.
This additional work has brought more stress to the eyes as the majority of the work is done through a computer/laptop. Hence it is important to take all the preventive measures to take care of your eyes. Below mentioned are some tips that you can follow to have a healthy work from home lifestyle.
Blink more often
Recent research concluded that people blink only about one third as often as they generally do when they are in front of a computer or laptop screen. This less blinking increases the strain on the eyes as it loses moisture and becomes dry.
Hence it is advised that you should blink more often to reduce stress on your eyes. This can be done by training your eyes to blink after reading 2-3 paragraphs on the digital screen. You can also keep a bottle of artificial tears handy and use it whenever you feel dryness in your eyes.
Use proper lighting of surroundings
Sometimes you might experience eye strain not due to the light coming out of the computer but due to the surrounding lights. Any type of harsh light is bad for eyes, so if you have high-intensity lights then it is advised to replace it with soft white LED light bulbs with a color temperature of 2700 k. Also if your room has windows then ideally your computer should be placed by the side of it. It should not be placed either in front of the window or opposite to it as the light will fall directly on your eyes or reflect from the computer screen. You can also use soft colored thin curtains to reduce the intensity of light.
Any surface be it computer or walls should not reflect too much light as it can again cause strain to your eyes. Install an anti-glare screen on your computer to reduce the reflection. If the walls have bright colors then you need to either repaint it with soft colors or use soft color wallpaper to cover it.
Wear the right glasses
You can use computer glasses that are specifically made to use while working long hours in front of the screen. These glasses help in reducing the strain on your eyes. You can also use photochromatic lenses that reduce the exposure of harmful blue light emitted from the computer screen.
Also, people wearing lenses should use computer glasses while working on the computer as it is much more comfortable. Also, prolonged use of lenses during work can sometimes dry out causing irritation in eyes.
Adjust your computer display settings
Most of the time we use the computer and laptop at their default display settings which sometimes could be too bright or too dark for your eyes. Hence it is advised to change the display settings to suit your surrounding well.
To start change the brightness of the screen to match your surrounding. To judge the surrounding light consider this white screen on which you are reading, if it is emitting light then it is too bright and if it looks dim then it is too dark. Change the setting until the brightness blends with the surrounding.
Maintain an appropriate distance from the monitor
All the digital screens are made up of LCD or LED that emit light. This light is essential to show what’s on the screen but a prolonged exposure adversely affects your eyes if the screen is too close. Hence it is very important to maintain sufficient distance from the monitor. Ideally, your laptop should be 50 centimetres away from you.
Adjust text size, colors, and fonts
If you read or type a lot on your computer then it is advised to have a text size that does not strain your eyes. In terms of color, the ideal combination would be black text on a white background.
Food also plays a very important role in the overall health of your eyes. One of the best food to eat is carrots that are super rich in vitamin A and lutein which are great for your eyes. Green leafy vegetables, eggs, salmon, and citrus fruits also help keep your eyesight sharp and healthy.
Read more: Best Eye Care Tips for Kids During Covid-19
Exercise your eyes
Just like your body, your eyes need exercise to keep it sharp and healthy. The most simple exercise you can follow is “20:20:20” which is every 20 minutes, spend 20 secs looking at something that is 20 meters away. This reduces fatigue and relaxes the focusing muscle present in your eyes.
Take frequent breaks
Due to the high workload given during the pandemic lockdown, we often spend hours at a stretch working and staring at the computer screen. This habit can have an irreversible impact on your eyes causing weak vision and eye strain. Hence you need to take regular breaks from your computer work.
Stretch your arms, legs, back, neck, and shoulders to reduce muscle fatigue and tension.
Get a comprehensive eye exam
A comprehensive eye exam at least once a year is advised for everyone to check the eyes and take timely measures in case of any issues. Also if you are facing any issues like headache, neck pain, eye strain, blurry vision then you should immediately go for a comprehensive eye check-up.
To conclude although work from home has become a new norm, you still have to make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle and take care of your eyes by following the tips mentioned above.