Have you ever finished a day at work and felt like your eyes were scratchy, dry, sore, or tired? Working with a screen all day can wreak havoc on our eyes. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your eyes are healthy while working from home.
- Clean your laptop and work surfaces
Bacteria in your eyes can cause soreness, infections, and even lumps – which may even be stye symptoms. During the working day, we touch surfaces on our desk and laptop and may then touch our eyes. Keeping your laptop and surfaces clean in your workspace or home office is vital to keeping your eyes healthy. Wipe down surfaces with anti-bacterial spray at the start of each day and keep anti-bacterial wipes nearby to clean your laptop (keys, screen, and mousepad) often.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule
If you are struggling with sore, strained, and tired eyes from work, the 20-20-20 rule will make a big difference. This involves spending 20 seconds looking at something 20ft away every 20 minutes. Simply set a timer for 20 minutes and look at something across the street from your window for 20 seconds and you’ll reduce eye strain during the working day. There are also 20-20-20 apps out there that will remind you to do this.
- Invest in blue light filters
Computer monitors, laptop and tablet screens, and mobile phone screens emit blue light. Blue light has benefits – it increases alertness and boosts your mood. But blue light can have a bad effect on your eyes if you are staring at screens for too long – causing digital eye strain and even retina damage. There are several ways you can filter blue light while at work. Blue light filters for your laptop screen or blue light glasses will reduce eye strain if you spend a lot of time looking at screens.
- Don’t wear contact lenses all day
If you wear contact lenses, it can be tempting to wear them all day long. Wearing contacts for too long can cause dry eyes, redness, damage to your corneas, and chronic inflammation. Only wearing contacts for meetings or taking your contacts out as soon as the working day is done is a great way to ensure your eyes have space to breathe.
- Keep eye drops next to your laptop
Even if you follow all of these tips, dry and tired eyes are inevitable when you’re putting in a long day at work. Keeping some lubricating eye drops on your desk means if your eyes are feeling especially dry, you have a quick fix on hand. Eye drops are not a long-term solution – they should be used in conjunction with the other tips on this list.
Working from home sometimes means our eyes get neglected. But sore, tired, or infected eyes can ruin your productivity. Straining our eyes at a laptop screen all day can also have long-term negative effects on our eye health. By putting these tips in place, your eyes will thank you and you’ll find working from home easier and more comfortable.