Eyes glued at powerpoint deck or excel financials for continuous hours? Rest your eyes…

One of the common trends today is we do not realise the amount of time we spend in front our PCs or portable devices churning out decks of slides and going through every digit in our financials. What’s worse, we switch to our mobile phones during toilet breaks or lunch breaks to visit our social world and go to our virtual farm to pluck vegies and reorganise our war base layout as we prepare for tonight’s war. “Just one more game”, we often tell ourselves only to click the start button to battle again as we wait for our lunch to be served.

Our eyes are one of our most vital of all our sensory organs, and it deserves great care and attention to reduce digital eye strain which can lead to dry and irritated eyes, fatigue, blurry vision and headaches. Here are some tips that we could all regularly do to reduce the risk of eye strain when using digital devices:

  • Look away from your computer at regular intervals. Move your eyes up and down, and side to side, doing this continuously for at least 20 short seconds. Gaze at a distant object, it could be an office plant, at a painting on the wall or even out the window for a few brief seconds. This helps break the intense focus that you were going through
  • Don’t forget to blink! Staring at a digital screen can affect the number of times you blink, causing eyes to dry. Train yourself to blink more often. When you blink, your eyes spread tears over the surface of your eyes to keep them moist, glowing and protects them from dust and dirt
  • Adjust the brightness of your device to a level that is comfortable for your eyes. You can also consider changing the image on your desktop from something bright and colourful to cool gray.
  • Turn off your computer screen and look at the reflection of yourself and surrounding lighting sources that are hitting your screen. It is important that you change the angle of your monitor or the light source to prevent any direct light that may create glare, e.g. a desk lamp or window causing. You will be surprised to find out that your eyes have been indirectly exposed to these constant glares throughout the day after all this time
  • Anti-reflective lenses on eyeglasses or filters for screens can also help absorb some of the blue light and limit how much light reaches the retina and into the central nerve of the eye. Do invest in eyeglass lenses that selectively blocks harmful blue light and UV rays, it can be slightly more expensive, but it’s certainly worth the investment to get your eyes protected
  • Take a short break every 45 minutes to an hour. During this time, avoid looking at any digital devices
  • Purchase ergonomic furniture to enable you to position your computer screen at least 50cm from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck

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