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4 Simple Things You Can Do To Protect Your Vision At Work

It’s Workplace Eye Safety Month! The American Optometric Association reports that over half of office workers who regularly use computers suffer from eye strain.

If much of your workday is spent using a computer, you cannot afford to ignore the risks it poses to your eyes. Follow these four tips to help protect your precious eyesight.

#1: Adjust Your Workspace

It may be beyond your control to install new furniture or lighting at work but even little changes can make a big difference!

  • Adjust your chair and monitor position so your eyes are about 24 inches away from the screen.
  • Position your monitor so there is no glare from windows, reflective walls, or other light sources.
  • Adjust screen brightness, contrast, and text size. Your monitor should be about the same brightness as your surrounding workspace.

#2: Blink More (A Timing Suggestion)

Staring at a computer screen not only decreases your blinking rate, it also decreases the completeness of each blink! Full frequent blinks are essential to keeping your eyes moist and avoiding strain and irritation. Now, we know this is impossible to set a repeating timer alarm on your smartphone for every 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform ten slow, complete blinks. Even close your eyes for 10–20 seconds. If problems persist with irritation due to dryness, speak with your eye doctor about using lubricating eye drops.

#3: Take Breaks

Tired eyes can lead to headaches, fatigue and decreased productivity. Remember:

  • The 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to rest and refocus.
  • Mini breaks. Take 15-minute breaks from your computer screen twice a day. Stand up, stretch, and walk around.
  • Simple eye exercises. A few times a day, stretch your extra ocular eye socket muscles by rolling your eyes in all directions.

#4: Discuss Workplace Conditions With Your Employer And With A Vision Source Doctor

Your employer wants you to be as productive as possible. If conditions aren’t conducive, kindly and tactfully raise the subject. Improvements can be a win/win for both your employer and yourself. Also, during your regular visits to your Vision Source optometrist, please discuss any concerns. Our doctors are not only interested in helping you maintain healthy vision, but they’re also sincerely interested in your overall health. Depending on your unique eye conditions and work situation, they can help find the best optometric solutions to protect your vision at work.

Your Eyes, And Needs, Are Unique

Every pair of eyes is different and how they react to each unique workplace environment is important. Find a Vision Source practice near you and discuss your habits and needs with a caring eye professional. 

Top image by Flickr user Juhan Sonin used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Author Vision Source — Published February 26, 2015