(BPT) - For many people, the transition to working from home demands spending endless hours in front of a computer screen. In fact, according to a study from Nature Human Behavior, remote workers are now spending 10% longer logged in each week — that’s the equivalent of an additional four or more hours weekly for someone with a 40-hour work week.
Normally, you blink around 15 times per minute, however, focusing your eyes on computer screens or other digital displays has been shown to reduce your blink rate up to 60%. Less blinking can destabilize your eyes’ tear film, causing dry, tired eyes, and blurred vision, which can impact your visual clarity.
For the millions of people who wear contact lenses and glasses the impact can be even greater. The number one thing people can do to preserve their eye health is make regular, annual visits to their optometrist and wear a quality FDA-approved contact lens, like ACUVUE®.
There are still further steps you can take to manage all that extra screen time and the toll on your eyes.
“Most of us blink without noticing, but if you’ve ever taken part in a staring contest, you’ll know how quickly your eyes become uncomfortable. That’s because the surface of your eyes needs constant lubrication to remove tiny specks of dirt and prevent the surface of your eye from feeling dry,” according to Luis Rojas, O.D., co-founder of DeNovo Eye.
How to care for your eyes while working from home
Limiting screen time is the easiest way to prevent dry, tired eyes — which is easier said than done when working from home! Instead, try to adapt your workspace or incorporate the below habits that can help preserve your vision.
1. Minimize dry eye with the latest contact lens innovations
“Severe dry eyes can be life changing for many of my patients,” added Dr. Rojas. “One of the biggest things is ensuring that we treat the ocular surface to ensure it’s not inflamed prior to putting patients in a new contact lens, for example.” Products like ACUVUE® contact lenses are expertly designed to prevent dry eyes no matter how long you wear them. Switching to smarter contact lenses is one of the simplest ways to mitigate this concern.
2. Adjust your screen position and reduce reflection glare
According to eye experts, your computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 to 5 inches) and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes, according to the AOA.
“It’s not natural for our eyes to look straight ahead for long periods of time,” says Dr. Rojas. “Our eyes work in a specific pattern; it’s easier on our eyes to look up close when our screens are slightly lowered.”
3. Take breaks
Follow the 20-20-20 rule: take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Setting a timer or reminder on your phone for these regular eye breaks can make a huge difference in your eye health. Looking into the distance can help your eyes to relax.
“This is something that every office should talk about with their patients and I’m seeing more people take this rule seriously,” says Dr. Rojas.
4. Schedule yearly eye exams
Why visit an eye doctor when you have good eyesight, right? Wrong! There are many eye-related problems that aren’t often noticeable to us right away. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do. Visit the ACUVUE® eye care professional locator to find a doctor in your area and schedule your appointment today!