As companies and the self-employed embrace working from home as a social norm post-pandemic, more and more people are adapting their businesses to accommodate it.
While not all jobs support working from home, such as retail and health & care sectors, those that have worked from home in the pandemic have seen the benefits of a more flexible approach and would like to keep it that way. Read our advice on eye health and how to prevent digital eye strain when working from home.
What impact does working from home have on our eye health?
In 2020, 62% of workers working from home were employed in the information and communications sector, followed closely by professional, tech and scientific services (56%)*. Immediately noticeable is the reliance on blue screens in these roles – long hours at computers, laptops, pads and smartphones. While the flexibility of working from home allows for more frequent breaks – which is extremely important for eye health – there is the opportunity to overwork and spend hours looking at screens.
Research has also shown that more older people are now planning to work from home, with 11% saying they’re more likely to retire later than just 5% pre-pandemic**.
With one in three Britons reporting that their vision has worsened since the pandemic*** with the increase of video calls and screen time, there is certainly a case for improving eye care for the individual.
What causes digital eye strain?
Typical symptoms of eye strain or computer vision syndrome, as it’s sometimes called, can include dry eyes, red eyes, eye fatigue and discomfort, eye twitching, headaches, blurred vision, and even neck and shoulder pain.
The cause of these symptoms is largely down to long periods using screens that emit blue light, give off bright glare, and are highly reflective, such as desktop computers, laptops, pads and smartphones. Blue light, in particular, is of significant concern. This is because, within the spectrum of colours emitted from screens, blue light has the shortest wavelength and, therefore, the highest-energy part of the spectrum. This causes artificial blue light to be the closest in frequency to harmful UV light – which we all know is detrimental to our eye health.
However, there are immediate measures you can take to help protect your eyes and improve productivity when working from home.
How to avoid digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome and ‘eye strain headaches.’
Check your environment
Lighting is crucial, and since you’re working from home, it is much easier to avoid the bright fluorescent tube lights of the office. Aim for soft lighting and natural light where possible. When even natural light is too bright, use blinds and curtains to create a more comfortable environment for your eyes to adjust to.
Your chair may not seem connected to your eye health, but if you are sitting uncomfortably and hunching shoulders, you are contributing to headaches which will, in turn, cause you eye strain. Ensure your chair is fit for purpose and sits comfortably at a desk or on your lap.
Which leads nicely on to having an appropriate set-up. Make sure your digital device isn’t too close or too far away. You shouldn’t be squinting to see what you are doing, as this will directly cause headaches and eye strain.
Upgrade your display
Old CRT monitors and displays may seem acceptable if working, but they are a major cause of eye strain and computer vision syndrome due to flicker, and few options to make adjustments. LED screens are widely available everywhere and affordable now. Upgrading your display to an LED screen will make a significant difference in protecting your eyes.
Adjust your screen display settings
With your updated display, you will have many more options to adjust your viewing and make it more comfortable. For example, adjust brightness and glare – which helps reduce the colour spectrum that emits from your screen – and text size and font settings to find the right level for you.
Take regular breaks
Sounds simple, but taking regular breaks away from your screen hugely benefits your eyes and overall health. Exercise your eyes, blink more to moisturise, move your body and stretch regularly to release tension that can cause headaches and snowball into eye strain and more.
Protect your eyes with blue light lenses
The benefits of blue light lenses are that anyone can wear them! No prescription? No problem. Blue light lenses will still protect you from harmful blue light with a single, non-prescription lens and frames from Lensology.
For prescription wearers, blue light lenses are suitable for single, bi and varifocal prescriptions.
The Benefits of Blue Light Glasses
Blue light lenses have multiple benefits, including:
- Blue light blocking – blocks harmful blue light rays from reaching your eyes
- Fingerprint and smudge resistance
- Water and dust repellant
- Colour and image distortion reduction
In addition, only Lensology blue light lenses protect you from UVA and UVB rays, too – delivering maximum protection from harmful artificial blue light and ultraviolet rays wherever you are, whenever you need it.
Caring for your eyes has never been more important now we are in the new normal of flexible and remote working. With so many new factors at play for your eyes to contend with, any help you can give yourself to improve your eye health will benefit you.
Lensology makes it super easy to upgrade your current glasses with our reglazing postal service, or if you are in line for some new blue light frames and lenses, we can help you out there too.
With second to none customer service and a friendly team ready to answer any questions or queries you may have, the route to healthy and happy eyes while working from home is easy to see.