A long period of time spent in front of screens significantly damages the eyesight, this health problem being exacerbated against the background of the coronavirus pandemic. The most common associated symptom is the dry eye syndrome.
An extremely large number of people switched to work from home, respectively in front of the computer or tablet. As a result, a number of ophthalmological problems may occur, which we explain below, as well as how you can avoid each one:
- Digital eye strain - a condition caused by prolonged exposure to electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers and tablets. Many employees spend more than 7 hours in front of a screen for professional purposes only, and then add time spent for recreational purposes. Symptoms associated with this problem include: dry eye sensation, blurred vision, sore throat and / or shoulder, headache, eye strain
- Myopia - is a vision defect in which the person can see objects clearly only when they are close. The main cause of myopia is heredity, but it can become an important predisposing factor in combination with prolonged exposure to digital devices. Remote vision can be irreparably affected by working in front of the computer
- Dry eye syndrome - if you spend too much time in front of a screen without blinking, your eyes may dry out. This syndrome assumes that there are not enough tears to lubricate the eye. Computer work reduces the number of blinks and predisposes to incomplete blinks; blinking plays the role of spreading the tear film over the entire surface of the cornea, preventing it from drying out and deteriorating. In addition to the obvious discomfort, dry eyes can be an important cause of eye infections, for which tears provided protection. Here are the associated symptoms: burning or stinging sensations in the eyes, redness of the eyes, blurred vision, watery eyes (autonomous reaction of the body), sensitivity to light, mucus around the eyes, fatigue in the eyes.
How to avoid eye problems caused by the extended use of screens:
- Digital eye strain - move your gaze from the screen every 20 minutes to an object 6 meters away for 20 seconds, make sure you are in the correct position and that the light in the room it is suitable, that you do not stay too close to the screen (distance of at least 50-70 cm), that you blink 10-15 times every minute to moisten your eyes, that you wear glasses with computer protection filter or eyeglasses ( if necessary), that you place your palms over your eyes every few minutes to relax your eye muscles
- Myopia - wear doctor-recommended eyeglasses or contact lenses, use procedures to correct vision, reduce the duration of exposure to digital devices to prevent aggravation of problems
- Dry eye syndrome - use a humidifier for the room you work in, don't forget the above rule (move your gaze away from the screen), try to blink consciously 10-15 times a minute, keep your computer screen under eye level, take breaks from work to rest your eyes, hydrate properly.
- Quit smoking and, last but not least, use eye drops recommended by your doctor.
Important tips to reduce vision problems when working on a computer
In addition to the problems mentioned above, headaches can also occur due to the tension to which the eyes are exposed when looking at a screen. When the lighting in the room you work in (either insufficient or the reflection effect occurs - a window is reflected in the monitor) is poor, in addition to headaches, irritability and lethargy may occur, which can have an impact on your productivity.
It is extremely important to use the right monitor; Before buying such a product seek the advice of an expert and make sure it has the right size. The top edge of the screen should be 45-75 cm in front of the face, so as not to overload the view. Adjust its contrast using warm color tones and use large fonts. When using a laptop to work, keep it at arm's length and at a 90-degree angle to your elbows. In the case of a smartphone, try to keep it in the position where you would normally hold a book, but avoid looking at it lying on the side or on the back.
To prevent vision problems when working from home, try to avoid eating in front of the TV or in front of the phone and reduce your exposure to screens (especially at bedtime), opting for outdoor walks that will relax the whole body. In this sense, there are applications that can be installed on the phone and monitor the time spent in front of the computer. It has also been shown that the blue light can significantly influence natural sleep cycles, and the use of digital devices can overstimulate the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep; For this reason, it is recommended that you do not use digital devices at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Last but not least, don't forget to go to the ophthalmology examination regularly, especially if you experience eye fatigue, constant headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision or difficulty seeing far / near.