A healthy vision helps us perform well, whether we are at work, home, or school. Our eyesight is one of the most essential parts of our senses, that when lost or damaged may lead to serious life changes. This is especially true for employees who rely on their vision to perform their job, such as office workers who suffer from eye troubles because of heavy computer use.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20,000 incidents of eye injuries happen in the workplace every year. In fact, workplace eye injuries cost about $300 million each year because of worker compensation, medical treatment, missed workdays, and poor work productivity. Most of these injuries lead to severe trauma resulting in vision loss, permanent damage, and blindness.
Office workers often suffer from “computer vision syndrome”, an ailment that involves eye-vision issues with symptoms, such as blurred vision, headaches, and shoulder/neck pain because of prolonged computer use. So if you’re an employee who sits in front of the computer screen for hours on end, it is time to develop a new routine to maintain good eye health. To encourage eye safety, here are some suggestions to relieve and prevent digital eye strain.
Reducing digital eye strain
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the average person normally blinks about 15 times per minute. But when working in front of the computer screen or digital devices, the number of blinking reduces to a half. Irregular blinking may lead to irritated and dry eyes. This can be worse for people with severe eye problems.
Aside from dry eyes, continuous exposure to computer screens may lead to eye strain, light sensitivity, retina damage, and cataract. When left unchecked, cataracts lead to serious eye problems that require a cataract extraction procedure.
Office workers often suffer from vision problems, such as digital eye strain and computer vision syndrome. These vision issues often stem from prolonged screen time. Too much exposure to blue light causes overworked and overfocused eyes. This also happens when you are reading documents with small or unreadable fonts.
Digital eye strain comes with various symptoms, such as dry eyes, eye pain, itchy eyes, blurred vision, neck pain, headaches, and back pain. Excessive blue light exposure also affects our sleeping patterns by disrupting the sleep cycle. When the blue light ruins our biological clock, our brain will confuse the nighttime as daytime. This confusion causes sleep interruptions and troubles in sleeping.
Adjusting the brightness level
If you’re spending around eight hours in front of the computer, adjust the screen brightness immediately. Most office workers tend to adjust their brightness at maximum level, but doing this will lead to eye strain. The bright light emitted from our devices is the main cause of eye fatigue that may result in poor productivity in the long term.
As much as possible, lower the brightness level to 75% if you are working in a brightly lit area. For those working near open windows with more natural lighting, it is reasonable to set the brightness at 45% percent. If it doesn’t work for you, identify the most favorable brightness level you find comfortable.
For optimum eye protection, install a screen filter or wear blue light eyeglasses to filter out the blue light on the computer. You can also check out free blue light filters online to give your screen a natural hue.
Using natural light
If you have large windows at home or office, maximize the natural lighting by opening the blinds and turning off the fluorescent lights. This only applies to those who don’t share their office space since not all people prefer too much natural light.
If your office doesn’t have windows or you’re working in a cubicle, get a small desk lamp that emits the same tone as natural lighting. Using natural light makes it easier to stare at the computer screen by reducing the glare. If you want to promote eye safety in the workplace, you may suggest to the office manager to replace fluorescent lights with dimmer light sources. Most modern offices today use orange or warm yellow lights to encourage productivity and relaxation in the workspace.
Maintaining good vision is something we should take seriously no matter how long we spend in front of the computer screen. To improve visual clarity and strength, the suggestions above will help you adopt a healthier lifestyle and maintain overall eye health. After all, our eyesight is one of the most important senses, so it only makes sense to take good care of it.