Digital and Your Eyes
This Covid-19 pandemic had plunged us into a digital world. Our learnings had been directed to e-learning, working-from-home, and the social distancing measures had prominently pushed digital gadgets into the forefront of our lives. Netflix, Youtube, e-books, online shopping had moved up as our main source of entertainment.
With more time spent in front of digital gadgets, digital eye-strain symptoms such as eye fatigue, watery or dry eyes, headaches or blurred vision are now more commonly experienced. These symptoms can be worst for people with pre-existing eye conditions such as astigmatism, myopia or hyperopia.
While we most likely are not able to reduce our time spent in front of digital devices, there are some steps that we can take to protect our eyes while using these gadgets:
- Gadget Display Settings:
Ensure that the brightness of your display is not too bright, nor too dim; the screen should be adjusted to similar light level to the rest of your workstation or your room. Other than brightness, we should also not neglect the font size and font type. If you are straining to read the text, you might consider adjusting the size and type so that it is less straining to your eyes.
- Proper Workstation Settings:
It is important to avoid working directly under overhead lights and also eliminate external light sources (e.g. sunlight) which causes glare. These glare can add on extra stress to the eyes, you can blocked them out by having shades or blinds. The type of light bulbs used are also important. Typical fluorescent office lighting might be too harsh for your eyes, try using lower intensity bulbs as an option to reduce glare.
Aside from lighting, you should also ensure a proper distance for computer work. A comfortable viewing distance when looking at computer screens should be approximately 50-65cm from the eye. The computer screen should be tilt to a 15-20 degrees below eye-level in order to reduce eye fatigue.
- 20-20-20 rule:
We highly recommend taking frequent breaks when performing near tasks such as working on the computer for long hours. As suggested by American Optometry Association (AOA), you may adopt the 20-20-20 rule by:
Take 20 seconds break to view something 20-feet away every 20 minutes of doing near work
- Blink Frequently:
Our eyes tend to blink less when we are concentrating on visual tasks. This may, in turn results in dry eyes. We should constantly remind ourselves to blink frequently (once every 10-15 seconds) to keep our eyes moisturised and hydrated while working.
- Blue-light Filter lenses:
Research had shown that using blue-light filter lenses can help reduce eye strain when looking at digital devices. It might be worth considering blue-light filtering lenses to filter off the harmful spectrum of blue-violet light which can potentially cause damage to the tissues in the eye.