The modern workplace is full of influences that can cause your eyes discomfort, particularly if you’re a contact lens wearer. Air conditioning, indoor heating, bright lighting and extended digital screen use can all take their toll on your eyes, over the course of a long working day.
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled this list of ten helpful tips to keep your eyes in top shape while you’re on the clock.
Blink regularly during computer use
The main issue with digital screen use for your eyes is the reduced rate that you might be blinking at. This is a common habit to pick up when working on the computer, and can lead to the onset of dry eyes due to your eyes not receiving the moisture they need from blinking.
While we appreciate the irony of posting an online blog on the negative effects of computer screens, we’d like to take this opportunity to offer some helpful advice on how to ensure the safety of your eyes while at work.
You might think you’ll look pretty silly if, after an hour of focusing intensely on your screen, you suddenly burst into a thousand blinks in a minute. However, if you practice blinking regularly whilst working on your computer, you’ll pick up the habit quickly and you’ll find your eyes aren’t feeling the strain of the screen anywhere near as much.
Fit your computer with an anti-glare screen
Another sure-fire way to protect your eyes from the computer screen and the drying effects that the light can have on your eyes is to invest in an anti-reflection cover.
These covers are specifically designed to reduce the glare and block out harmful light rays from the screen, and won’t set you back too much at all. Maybe your boss will even cover the cost under office expenses, if you ask nicely!
Watch out for heating and air conditioning
In most offices, there’ll be either indoor heating or air conditioning on all day long, depending on the time of the year. And, frustratingly, both can be particularly trying on the eyes over extended periods of time.
If your eyes start feeling dry, either of these could be a major factor, so you’ll need to stay vigilant. In instances where your eyes start to feel dry but you’re not in a position to switch off the air conditioning or heating, then apply a few drops of some rewetting eye drops.
Why not try our best-selling Blink Refreshing eye drops? Suitable for contact lens wearers and non-lens wearers alike, these drops reintroduce moisture to your eyes and can counter the effects of dryness.
Or for those who aren't a fan of eye drops, we also stock a hydrating eye spray in Blink Refreshing Hydrating Eye Mist, allowing you to refresh your eyes and combat the onset or symptoms of dry eyes.
Change the display settings on your computer
Using a computer to get your work done is unavoidable in the office these days, so make the best of it and ensure your computer is equipped to cater for your eyes over the course of the working day.
A higher quality resolution will make it easier on your eyes, while the brightness should be adjusted to match the light conditions around the screen.
Exercise those eyes
There are a couple of little games you can play to keep your eyesight sharp and to relieve the stress your eyes feel while in the office.
To keep your eyes on their toes, pick up your office pen and hold it far away from you, bring it closer gradually, and then further away again.
If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then rotating your eyes clockwise and anti-clockwise every now and again may look a tad unusual, but will loosen up the muscles.
Cut out the smoke break
For any smokers out there, you may be interested to know one of the dangers cigarettes can pose is to your eyes and their health.
Smoking can cause cataracts, which can cloud your vision and require surgical removal, while the habit also leads to the onset of age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.
Pack a healthy lunch for the office
Ordering takeaways or bringing in a packed sandwich from your local supermarket can be tempting for anyone with a busy lifestyle and hectic work schedule. However, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, especially at lunch time, is important for keeping your eyes healthy and your vision sharp.
There are a range of foods you can add to your diet to boost your eye health, including carrots, spinach, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, citric fruits, pork and beef to your diet, while you’ll also find that oily fish offer plenty of omega 3 and fatty acids to promote healthy eyes and clear sight.
To find out more, read our blog on the vitamins and minerals your eyes need to stay on top form.
Give your eyes a break from the screen
While we know that deadlines are often looming and there is a need for efficiency in many workplaces, it won’t spell the end of the world if a few times throughout the day you spend a couple of minutes away from the computer.
Whether you take a bathroom break, go to make yourself a drink, or add the finishing touches to some paperwork, it will do your eyes a world of good to have a small break from the screen.
Try the 20-20-20 rule
This rule is a great way to make sure your eyes get the break they need from the screen, at a time when you really can’t leave your desk. It’s easy to learn and simply involves taking a break from looking at the screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, to look at something 20 feet away.
By doing this, your eyes will get a quick relaxation period, while you’ll find your blinking will instantly return to its normal rate.
Make sure you’ve got the right contact lenses in
You should be prescribed contact lenses to cater for the requirements of your eyes, whether they’re prone to dryness or not. However, if you find that your eyes are suffering from recurring dryness or irritation at work, it might be the case that alternative contact lenses are better suited to your lifestyle.
Perhaps you need a higher water content, a more breathable lens or a lens designed for a longer period of wear. Whatever the case, it’s worth speaking with your optician or eye care practitioner to discuss which lenses would be best for your eyes to stand up to the demands of the workplace.
It’s very important that you consult with your eye care practitioner before changing the type of contact lenses you wear.
We hope that at least some of these tips will be useful for you, and will help to keep your eyes feeling fresh during your 9 to 5.