Last year around this time, many of us were still wondering when we would “get back to normal.” One of the aspects of doing so would be to go back to work in our office cubicles or at our desks in a formal office space. While some have done just that, there are still a great many people who are working from home. Some may have a home office set up in a spare room and some are still making their dining room table pull double-duty. Regardless of where your workspace is set up, it needs to have certain characteristics in order to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Here, we’ll discuss what those characteristics are and how you can get them.
The Right Lighting
Lighting is integral to our eye health. Where there is too much or too little, we suffer. Too much light into the eye, whether directly or reflected, causes glare, and glare causes eye strain. In the space where you work, it is ideal to have bright, indirect light. Overhead lighting may be ideal for this. Often, people set up their home office near windows where bright light is streaming in. This can force unconscious squinting. If there are windows in your work area, consider shading them to see if the muscles around your eyes relax.
The brightness of your screen is also related to your risk of eye strain. The brighter your screen, the more light is entering the eyes. Try adjusting your computer settings to reduce screen brightness and see how your eyes respond. The blue light that streams from computer screens can be diminished with a special blue-light screen cover or by adjusting settings to “night light” or “night mode.”
The Right Habits
Part of taking better care of our eyes is knowing the habits to create around screen time. Yes, limiting the number of hours you look at a screen is one way to do that. You may have limited options, though, for how you work. When in the office space, one of the best habits to maintain is looking away from your screen every so often. The general rule is to do this every 20 minutes and to look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds before returning your eyes to the screen. Blinking is another habit that we don’t consciously think about when we’re working. Blinking is unconscious to some degree. The body just does it. However, when you’re focused on a task, your body blinks less frequently, so you must remind yourself to do it. Even better, we recommend closing the eyes for a few seconds every 10 minutes or so.
The Right Tools
Your screen is a tool, yes, and so are your eyeglasses. If you wear corrective lenses, it is imperative that you keep them up to date. Your current prescription should be evaluated every year to make sure it is still correct.
Our office in Ocala, FL offers comprehensive eye care in a friendly atmosphere. Contact us at (352) 237-8400 to schedule your visit.