Working From Home: Computer Use and Dry Eyes

The pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways, most notably how we work. In recent months, more people have begun working from home, resulting in an increased amount of time behind a computer screen. Working on projects, zoom meetings, and even watching cat videos can all have an impact on our eye health!

Spending too much time in front of digital devices can lead to computer eye strain, otherwise known as computer vision syndrome. This digital eye strain is the result of too much time focused on the screen without taking sufficient breaks.

The symptoms of computer eye strain include:

  • dry eyes
  • watery eyes
  • headaches
  • itchy eyes
  • sore eyes
  • blurred vision
  • pain in the shoulders and back

According to the Vision Council, more than 80% of adults reported using digital devices more than two hours per day while 67% say they use two or more devices simultaneously.

The report also finds that 55% of users reported looking at the screens within the first hour of waking up, while 80% reported using their digital device in the hour before going to sleep. These statistics show that people are using their digital devices far more frequently than ever before.

Your tear film plays an important part in keeping the surface of your eyes moist, however the sharp increase in our daily screen time has meant that our eyes are actually drying out more frequently than ever before.

Reduce Computer Eye Strain

Computer eye strain can easily be prevented with the help of a few simple relaxation exercises. Our optometrists have come up with a few easy solutions to incorporate into your workday:

  • Keep a safe distance of at least 18 inches between you and your screen
  • Reduce the glare on your screen by lowering the brightness settings and using dark mode/night mode/blue light filter
  • Adjust your screen settings for comfort by increasing the text size or positioning the screen in a more comfortable location. You should not have to look up or down at your screen – this inevitably leads to neck or shoulder strain.
  • Adhere to the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes, then look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Consider using eye drops throughout the day as recommended by our optometrists to help keep your eyes moist.

These minor adjustments to your time in front of a computer screen will have a significant impact on your comfort level and reduce the symptoms of computer eye strain.

Computer eye strain can be frustrating, but it can also be prevented. Why not talk to our optometrists about how you can maintain good eye health and vision as we all continue to adjust to the effects of increased computer use?

Book an appointment with one of our friendly optometrists in Trenton, Brighton, Belleville or Picton today and let us help you get back to work with comfort and ease.