By Gwen Lewis
Digital eye strain is a real problem for people who work on computers all day – but there are some ways to beat it. Here are some quick tips for reducing the strain and staying healthier as you work in the digital world.
#1: Get Up and Move Around
Exercise is healthy to begin with, and after a few hours at a desk, most people can benefit from stretching their legs. However, there’s another side to this as well – when you get up to move around, your eyes will focus on objects at different distances. This exercises your eyes as well as your body and helps keep you awake and alert.
At the very least, you should get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so, even if it’s just for one minute in a quick loop around your workplace.
#2: Adjust the Lighting
There are two forms of lighting you may need to adjust: the room’s lighting and your monitor.
The main lighting of your room should provide enough illumination to clearly light up your workplace without actively glaring into your eyes. If you have any bright source of light in your vision for a long period of time, that’s going to cause strain – do whatever you can to face away from it.
Your computer monitor is a source of light you have to look at, so keep its brightness level down – ideally, it won’t be any brighter than the things around it. The screen may seem rather dim at first, but it won’t be long before you get used to it.
#3: Eat Healthy Snacks
We all like to snack a bit when we’re on the job – and studies have shown that there are genuine weight-loss advantages to doing so. Of course, it’s even better if you focus on having healthy snacks. While you shouldn’t have the following snacks every day – dietary balance is crucial to having a healthy overall lifestyle, and variety helps with that – eating these will provide the nutrients your eyes need to stay healthy:
- Leafy greens
- Berries and citrus fruits (esp. oranges)
Similarly, be sure to drink enough water throughout the day. At least eight glasses is ideal.
#4: Moisturize Your Eyes
On average, a person using any kind of digital device will blink about a third as often as they should – and over the course of a day, this can really dry out your eyes and make it hard to focus on the screen in front of you. Accordingly, it helps to make sure that your eyes are moist, and there are a few ways to do this.
The fastest and easiest way is to slowly, deliberately blink ten times every 20 minutes or so – you can do this right before getting up to walk around. Alternately, you can start using moisturizing eye drops. Be sure they’re specifically intended to help treat dry eyes, not simply reduce the appearance of redness, and consider talking to an eye doctor before you start using them.
#5: Stretch Your Whole Body
A proper stretching session is great for keeping your blood flowing – and good circulation may help reduce various vision problems. Our preferred technique is having a good stretching session – one at least ten minutes long – after a walking meeting at some point in the morning. Three sessions a week is about right for most people, and you’ll be able to sit back at your computer again with a loose, relaxed, and comfortable body.
#6: Don’t Use Computers All Day
Digital screens emit a blue wavelength of light that excites your eyes and makes them believe you should be awake – but being constantly excited is never good for your body. Instead of typing feverishly until the very last moment before you leave for the day, see if your schedule permits shutting off devices an hour or two before you leave. Take that time to work on other matters, and allow your eyes a chance to rest as you head home to enjoy your evening.
There’s no denying that the digital world is important – but no matter what your job is, taking care of your eyes will help prevent many of the common problems eyes can experience.
ABOUT GWEN LEWIS
Gwen Lewis is a writer and makeup artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great, whether through makeup or her writing. In her free time, she enjoy shopping and pick-up soccer games with her friends.