How to protect your eyes while working on the computer.
Why is looking at the screen from a close distance dangerous for our eyes?
Computer screens are usually 40/60 cm from our eyes. Mobile phones are even closer.
While focusing on close objects muscles that are responsible for our sight are all the time in tension. When we look in the distance, muscles (especially ciliary muscles) are relaxing.
Accommodation: is the process when the eyes are adjusting focus to look at different distances. For example, from distant to near objects by increasing the convexity of the lens.
Nowadays due to the common use of computers, phones, etc., more and more people are developing Pseudo-Myopia which is caused by over-focus on near objects.
Sometimes you might think that if you have good sight and you don’t have eye pain, then there is no problem, but it might happen that after a long time working on the computer your whole body feels tired, you have a mild headache or forehead muscle tension, you might have difficulties seeing far away or annoyance. It happens because our visual system is sending a message to our brain, so we react to the tiredness of the eyes in a similar manner as to physical tiredness. You might also notice blurred vision, increased light sensitivity, eye strain.
Another negative aspect of working on the computer is blue light emission from the screens.
It’s affecting our well-being and sleep pattern.
· Good light disposition at the workplace place, not too bright not too dark.
· The luminescence of the screen and surroundings should be similar.
· To avoid reflection on the screen, pay attention to not have a window or lamp at the back or in front of your screen, adjust it so the source of the light is on the side of the screen.
· Use night mode or yellow filter on your screen. Yellow, warm light is more friendly for our eyes.
· If you wear glasses, you can have a green or blue anti-reflection filter.
· Blink! While we are looking at the screen or book, we blink less which leads to eye dryness.
· Drink water.
· Pay attention to air humidification, it prevents eye dryness.
· Remember about work ergonomics.
The screen is supposed to be 50-60 cm away from our eyes and slightly below eyesight.
· Important rule: 20-20-20
Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds break and look 20 feet (6 m) into the distance, for example, look through the window and focus your gaze on some small detail.
I encourage you to download an application on your phone or computer which will remind you about such breaks.
Examples of exercises:
From my own experience, exercises helped me a lot to relax my eyes. After many hours working on the computer, my eyes are still tired but the headaches which were caused by eye muscle tension disappeared.
Eight or infinity sign:
Hang a picture of the “8” or infinity sign on the wall or try to imagine the shape. During your break at work look at the picture and follow the curves of “8” for about 30 seconds and then change the direction.
Hold out your thumb in front of you and start moving it slowly toward the nose until it is not possible to see it in a single image anymore, then slowly move it away to the closest point where there is a single image of the finger achieved. Repeat it 3 times.
Exercise peripheral vision:
While working with objects up close we have mastered central vision but the peripheral vision is getting worse.
Image source: https://eyecanlearn.com/tracking/peripheral/puppy-peripheral-chart/
Hang a picture on the wall, focus your gaze at the puppy, then try to expand your view from the closest to the farthest numbers, while constantly focusing your eyes on the puppy.
It is really beneficial for the peripheral view to do sports outside.
The retina is working based on the light, to stimulate it to look at the sun with closed eyelids.
Natural light is stimulating and regulating a lot of processes in our body.
Trigger points might occur in the eye muscles, you can ask your physiotherapist to relax it by using eyeball mobilization or PIR technique.
Have your eyes checked regularly by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.