Have you noticed a change in your eyes when working from home?
As we approach Spring, it will be a year since many people’s working conditions changed.
Last March many people left the office for what they thought would be a few weeks of working from home. Twelve months on, are you looking after yourself and your eyes in your home set up?
Last year, like many other people, my wife started working from home when the first lock down kicked in. After a few weeks, we realised this could be for longer term than we thought, so we went about making a home office; we set up a desk in the spare room, got a nice office swivel chair and a lamp and plant for her desk; seemed perfect.
Ten months on she’s noticed a change in her vision, especially when we are out and about. Why is this?
How working from home can affect your eyesight
When people work from home the working day changes quite a lot compared to the average day in the office. Generally, we find that people concentrate on the screen a lot more, they take less breaks away from their desk and certainly look around a lot less. Often the light isn’t as good and our bodged together home offices may not be as good for our posture and comfort.
Keep your eyes healthy whilst working from home
Here are a few tips to try and help with your eye health and overall comfort whilst you’re working from home.
1. 20-20-20 Rule – every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Have a quick nose out the window. 20 seconds should be a long enough for your eyes to relax, just give your eyes a break.
2. Blink! - sounds simple, when we are concentrating on anything, we blink less often. Your eyes work better and are more comfortable with a tear film over them, and they dry out when you don’t blink. Normally you should blink about 10-15 times a minute.
3. Lighting – look at the lighting; is the room light enough, do you need to move a lamp closer to your working area? Try and have the light source next to you rather than behind you or the screen. Make sure there no glare or direct sunlight on the screen. Also check the brightness of the monitor; the screen should be similar brightness to the workstation around you.
4. Take a break – Get up for your desk, stretch your legs, a comfort break or make a cuppa. It’s a chance to move around and to look at a few different distances.
5. Get an eye test – If you’re still struggling, book in for an eye test with an optician. They will check the health of your eyes, get your prescription up to date and can advise on any eye exercises or drops if you require them.