How to protect your eyes from digital eye strain and increase productivity!
One of the positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many companies realise how effective and efficient working from home can be. Employees agree! Many people love the flexibility of rolling out of bed in their pj’s and firing up the computer for a serious day of work, while juggling household chores during regular breaks without the grind of the daily commute!
Sadly, this new-found freedom comes at a serious price to eye health. People from all walks of life now spend more time in front of screens than ever before. At work, boardroom meetings become Zoom meetings and emails replace water-cooler conversations.
Jacqueline Gattegno, a Smart Vision Optometrist at Eyes InDesign Bondi, stresses the importance of proper eye protection and treatment from the effects of digital eye-strain. “Digital eye-strain occurs from the increased use of computers, iPads, mobile phones and computer gaming. It’s a major issue which is not exclusive to adults. Eye-strain in children and teenagers may affect normal vision development and the side effects can be debilitating if left untreated,” says Jacquie.
Eye-strain occurs when tasks are performed which force the eyes to converge closely, and maintain focus for long periods, often leading to problems with focusing. Other activities that require intense focus, such as long hours reading or driving, can result in people blinking less often, causing eye-strain.
Jacquie says, “there are primary symptoms associated with severe eye-strain to be aware of, which include sore, tired, dry or burning eyes, glare sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision, eye twitching and excessive tiredness towards the end of the day.”
“However, there are some more subtle effects that aren’t necessarily attributed to eye conditions, such as headaches, sore neck and back and even difficulty concentrating,” Jacquie says. Failure to treat the problem properly, particularly in younger people, has been shown to cause shortsightedness (myopia). “It’s a serious concern, and it is forecast that more than half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050,” says Jacquie.
Eye-strain can make being productive at work or learning at school an uphill battle, and when it starts to affect the ability to get work done, it’s time to start taking steps to tackle eye-strain head-on.
“Probably the easiest fix is to ensure frequent breaks from the screens to rest the eyes. The ‘20-20-20 rule’ is an effective and productive exercise that doesn’t significantly encroach on one’s work schedule. Simply, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet (6 metres) away,” says Jacquie. “Another simple exercise is to keep blinking. Blinking, washes the eyes in naturally therapeutic tears,” Jacquie says.
For those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, it’s important to ensure the workstation is set up properly. Jacquie says, “set the screen about an arm’s length away and adjust the screen so the top of the screen is at eye level. Ensure brightness and contrast are set to comfortable levels.”
Smart Vision Optometrists recommend a comprehensive vision skills assessment every 12-months. Jacquie says, “this one-hour consultation performs a detailed assessment of focusing and eye coordination abilities so preventative measures can be implemented. Depending on the outcome of the exam, the optometrist may prescribe computer eyeglasses, potentially with a blue light filter, to help the eyes focus on the screen more comfortably.” Clinical studies have shown that having the correct prescription in computer eyeglasses increases productivity and accuracy.
For more information about Smart Vision Optometry’s digital eye-strain wellness treatment programmes, contact Smart Vision Optometry today.
Smart Vision Optometry clinics are located in Sydney. Book a Smart Vision Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment or Advanced Eye Health Test for any child or adult by calling the Mosman clinic (02) 9969 1600 or the Bondi clinic (02) 9365 5047, alternatively book an appointment online.
Written and syndicated by: YDMA News