With the resurge of COVID-19 variants across the country, many companies are opting to go back to remote work or at least offer the option to employees if it’s available. With that, we wanted to share four easy tips for keeping your eyes healthy while working from home with the help of lead designer and photographer with Duke University Libraries Janelle Hutchinson.
You may be tired of hearing this suggestion, but it might be the simplest to implement yet the hardest to stick to. When you’re in the office, there are far more distractions to help you break your thousand-yard stare at your screens, helping your eyes get the break they need. When you’re at home, you need to create those breaks on your own, which is where the 20-20-20 rule comes in.
If you don’t know, the 20-20-20 rule is taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away while using digital devices (i.e., computers, tablets, phones, etc.). Sounds easy, right? In theory, it is, but the consistency and frequency are where it gets difficult for most to keep it up.
20 minutes can fly by, especially if you’re neck deep in a project. So, stopping and staring off into space 3 times every hour can quickly become an unwelcomed distraction. However, this timing is important for keeping your eyes healthy and focused. The break gives them time to readjust and recalibrate, making it easier to concentrate and warding off blurred vision that often accompanies long hours on screens.
Keep Your Eyes Hydrated
While this is an issue both in and out of the office, one of the most common complaints following screen time is eye dryness. It’s believed that the main contributing factor to this is the lack of blinking. We tend to blink less often while working on screens, and the blinks we do have are often cut short, meaning the eye lid doesn’t go down all the way. These strange half blinks don’t allow for the tear film to be spread across the entire eyeball, leaving some areas without much-need lubrication.
Some people keep eye drops near their workspace to address the moments they notice the dryness. However, over-the-counter drops may be a temporary fix for an underlying problem. If you find yourself using drops 2-4 times an hour, it’s time to find lasting relief.
EyePromise® EZ Tears™
EyePromise offers a daily eye vitamin that addresses occasional dry eye from the inside out. With powerful natural ingredients like Omega-3s, evening primrose oil, and turmeric extract, EZ Tears can bring lasting relief in as little as 1 week. With just 2 softgels a day, this formulation can help balance your tear film and give your eyes the hydration they’re craving!
Get Your Annual Exam
Perhaps not spoken to enough, an annual eye exam is imperative to keeping healthy, lasting vision. After getting established at an optometry office, your eye doctor can compare your exams year over year and determine if there are any changes that need to be addressed. This also increases the likelihood of catching any sight-threatening eye health issues early, taking preventative measures before any real damage is done.
In terms of screen time, eye doctors have noticed an increasing number of patients complaining about eye strain, and several of them actually need corrective lenses. If you’re squinting and straining to see what’s on the screen, your eyes are going to feel the impact. Schedule an appointment with your local eye doctor today and find out if you need to correct your vision to combat your eye strain.
Build Your Blue Light Protection
Another contributor to eye strain is the type of light emitted by digital screens. Referred to as harmful blue light, this type of light wavelength is part of the “high-energy” spectrum, and this energy is what can damage our eyes. Blue light penetrates deep in the eyes, saturating the sensitive cells in the center of the retina responsible for vision. Repeated exposure to this high-energy light can damage these sensitive cells and potentially cause vision loss.
Some people opt to wear blue light glasses while on computers, but like eye drops, this only provides temporary protection while the lenses are being worn (if they even work). Your eyes have natural blue light protection called the macular pigment, but it needs to be supported through the diet. In reality, nearly 80% of the country are below optimal macular pigment.
EyePromise Screen Shield™ Pro
While eating for eye health is possible, you’d need to eat at least 20 ears of corn a day to get the amount of nutrients to sustain your macular pigment. That’s why many eye care professionals recommend supplementation. EyePromise developed a one-a-day eye vitamin to directly support the eyes during long hours on screens. EyePromise Screen Shield Pro is formulated with high-quality, natural ingredients that build the macular pigment and defend the eyes against the effects of screen time. Its ingredients are unique to address screen time, so it’s safe to take with a daily multi-vitamin and other EyePromise vitamins (*cough* EZ Tears *cough*).
While we are all hoping we can get back to “normal” soon, it seems that COVID has other plans. These 4 tips can help you and your eyes prepare for a few more days/weeks/months of remote work.