Due to the pandemic, an estimated 57% of small businesses plan to adopt remote working options for employees in the long term.
Working remotely has become the “new normal”.
Often, we’re glued to our screens to collaborate with coworkers, communicate with clients, and accomplish daily tasks. Waking up and commuting down the hall to your computer seems to be a new habit for most of us.
Another habit most have become accustomed to is technology-use – for EVERYTHING! We work, shop, communicate with our friends and family, all through the use of technology. Yes, there are benefits, but unfortunately we may also feel strain.
Does eye strain ring a bell? How about headaches after a long day of screen time?
Solutions for Screen Time Stress
“STRESS” – a word we all use. Especially in an ever-changing world with many technological obstacles.
At the end of the work day, most of us feel stressed. We’ve had enough – and we’re not talking about the job! We’re talking about the stress on our eyes and the effect excessive screen time has on our bodies.
Hydrate Those Eyes
Did you know the average person blinks about 15-20 times a minute? That’s a lot of blinking! When we perform a concentrated activity such as using a computer, reading an inspiring novel, or painting a masterpiece, our blink rate decreases by 4-5 times a minute. What this means is that your eyes are open for longer, and your tears are evaporating quicker, leading to dryer and more irritated eyes.
What Can You Do?
Hydrate your eyes with lubricating eye drops. Similar to drinking water regularly, your eyes also need hydrating. Apply drops depending on your eye-dryness. "A common factor to dry eyes is humidity", says Chester Scerra, a seasoned Optometrist at Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester, "especially during the winter months when forced air heating decreases humidity in your home." Some recommended brands are Systane, Refresh, and Theratears.
Reduce That Bright Light
Have a headache from screen time? Do you need to take a break every now and then to close your eyes or look away from your computer or phone? You aren’t the only one. Research has shown that increased screen time has a profound effect on us. Oftentimes it leads to headaches, inability to fall asleep, and fatigue. How does this happen?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that symptoms, similar to these, are “linked to how we use our digital devices”. This means prolonged screen time, brighter screens, and of course, not taking breaks from staring at our screens.
What Can You Do?
As simple as it is to hydrate your eyes, you can limit your screen-time-strain by reducing the bright light.
Take Mental Breaks
Escape the screen by taking a break. When making coffee or eating lunch, avoid using your computer or phone unless it is absolutely necessary. Close your eyes (not long enough to fall asleep though!), stretch it out, and enjoy a few minutes away from the artificial light.
Refrain From Using Technology Before Bed
Before shut-eye time, give your eyes time to wind down. Avoid bright screens from your phones or computers, and wind down with softer lighting to promote a better night’s rest.
Try Blue Light Reducing Glasses
Blue light glasses are a new and highly demanded type of eyewear that may reduce eye strain. Although there is limited research on this, because it is so new, some eye professionals believe that blue light glasses may aid in reducing the blue-violet light rays that are commonly emitted from digital screens.
What Can You Do?
Our bodies react differently to different things. Blue light glasses are something you may benefit from, but you won’t know unless you try them!
You can opt in for blue-light options for your prescription eyewear. After trying them out and seeing a difference, this may be something to consider if you are glued to a computer screen throughout the day.
Reducing eye strain, headaches, and fatigue from prolonged technology use isn’t always an easy solution. You may have to try different ways to see how your body reacts. In a virtual world, we all are adjusting to an overload of technology, but remember, we can still stay ahead of the curve and make personal health a priority – eye health included. To perform better, we need to feel our best. Take care of your eye strain now before the headache comes later!