Long days in front of the screen leaving you with strained eyes? You need to read this.
Screens are part of our daily life - and now that the pandemic has forced many of us to work from home, we’re interacting via technology more often than not.
And, after a day’s work, we’re using the same screens for our entertainment needs.
It’s not just adults who are affected. Kids are also now studying from home, using mobiles and laptops to engage with their teachers and one another.
All in all, we’re spending more time staring at a high-energy blue light than ever before. And it’s not good for our eyes.
Focusing on a screen for hours on end is hard work for your eye muscles and often results in eye strain. This in turn can bring on headaches, blurred vision, eye soreness, and general fatigue.
So, how can you reduce eye strain?
Take regular breaks
When working in an office, we’re often stopping for breaks to chat with colleagues, make a cup of tea, go to meetings, or get a snack. At home, however, we might be condensing our work into shorter, more intense ‘blocks’ that don’t allow much time away from the screen.
Regular breaks are key to reducing eye strain. The easiest way to do it is with the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of working at your screen, give your eyes a 20-second break by looking at something 20 feet away. This allows your eye muscles to refocus on something at a different distance, while also briefly switching off from the glow of the screen.
Improve your lighting
Eye strain can be significantly limited by working in the right amount of light. Too little light - or too much - can both cause you to strain your eyes, leading to headaches, blurred vision, and irritation.
Adjust the brightness on your screen and also the light around your work environment so that you can look at your screen comfortably. Try to work in a room with natural light as much as possible - it’s much easier on the eyes than artificial light. While you’re at it, adjust the brightness on your mobile phone, too.
Sit at the right distance from your screen
Your eyes are made up of many tiny muscles. When you’re sitting close to your computer or mobile phone and focusing on the screen, these eye muscles have to work hard to contract your lens. If you’re doing this for hours on end, the muscles become fatigued.
Sit back from your screen so that your eyes aren’t straining. If you really can’t see properly without getting closer, it might be time to visit an optometrist.
Astaxanthin is a plant-based antioxidant with powerful benefits for eye health. Studies suggest that it's 10 times more powerful than lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, and 100 times more powerful than vitamin E. It’s also believed to help prevent and treat many eye diseases.
A recent study showed that taking astaxanthin daily for four weeks may help relieve the symptoms of eye strain.
Another study found that people who took astaxanthin every day for just one month reported they had better distance vision.
Clinical tests have also suggested that astaxanthin may help to prevent age-related macular deterioration, as well as other retinal disorders associated with oxidative stress.
Increase air moisture levels
Dry eyes are especially common in people over 50 due to reduced tear production. However, lack of moisture in the air can make your eyes feel dry and sore at any age. That moisture is essential for removing dust or other substances that get into your eyes.
A humidifier can help increase the moisture level in your work environment. It’s also helpful to remove or avoid things that reduce moisture in the air, such as fans and cigarette smoke.
Astaxanthin may also help. It’s been shown to have a protective effect against dry eye disease, and can help to reduce the inflammatory effects of dry eyes.
Practice blinking exercises
Research has also shown that we tend to blink less when we’re looking at a screen, which can lead to dryness and irritation. The longer this goes on, the higher your risk of eye-related issues later in life. Although our eyes are programmed to blink automatically, our blinking rate decreases when we’re staring at a screen.
Blinking exercises can help to keep your eyes moist and reduce the risk of dry eye symptoms by cleansing your eyes of debris. If you’re not blinking often enough, the moisture in your eyes won’t be properly replenished.
Blinking exercises are a great way to refresh and lubricate your eyes. They are also super easy! Simply close your eyes softly, without squeezing your lids. Keep them closed for two seconds. Then, gently open and allow your eyes to relax. Do this five times over.
Get your vision checked annually
If your eyes always seem to be sore and dry, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with an optometrist.
While eye strain is often due to too much screen time or overworking, a vision check will help to rule out any other problems. It’s also important to know whether you’re in need of corrective lenses or other aids.
In the meantime, look into taking an astaxanthin supplement such as Asta Supreme. The powerful anti-inflammatory and protective activities of this natural antioxidant could be just what your WFH eyes need!