Working from home: how to look after your eyes

In an era where working from home has become the new norm, our eyes are more essential than ever for navigating the digital landscape that defines our daily livesIn an era where working from home has become the new norm, our eyes are more essential than ever for navigating the digital landscape that defines our daily lives.  The rise of remote work has been rapid, with a significant portion of the American workforce transitioning to home-based employment post-pandemic. According to a recent survey, approximately 10 percent of the British workforce reported working remotely full-time, and 29 percent were working remotely part-time. However, there is a trend towards returning to the workplace, and least in part, with several businesses mandating a return to the office.

Still, the seismic shift in work dynamics has helped remodel the landscape, even if it is still to settle. One of the reasons people are encouraged to return to the office is well-being and welfare. It is hard to track an employee remotely in terms of ensuring they are safe and healthy. There are procedures and structures in the office, but that’s not the case when working remotely.

You can’t check on their mental well-being in person, and there are physical health aspects to consider as well. For instance, working from home places increased emphasis on maintaining optimal eye health, particularly for those spending extended hours in front of screens. In the office, employees may get up and mingle, but at home, there can be a temptation to remain in front of the screen for a while.

If you’re still experiencing employees working from home or are working from home yourself, these tips should help keep those eyes in good shape.


The Impact of Screen Time on Eye Health

Firstly, with digital devices reaching into every aspect of our daily lives, prolonged screen time has become a reality for many. Whether it’s staring at a computer monitor, scrolling through smartphone screens, or binge-watching television shows, our eyes are constantly exposed to the potentially harmful effects of blue light emissions.

Studies have shown that excessive screen time can lead to a range of ocular issues, including digital eye strain, dry eyes, and blurred vision. A recent report suggested that a staggering 75% of doctors in the UK see more patients with symptoms of digital eye strain than they did ten years ago. This can lead to issues such as eye fatigue, headaches, and neck pain after prolonged use of electronic devices.


Tips for Maintaining Optimal Eye Health

Fortunately, there are simple yet effective measures you can take to safeguard your eyesight and mitigate the risks associated with prolonged screen time. Here are some practical tips for maintaining optimal eye health at home.

Invest in Prescription Glasses 

If you require vision correction, wearing prescription glasses tailored to your needs is essential for optimal visual acuity. Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, a comprehensive eye exam conducted by a qualified optometrist can determine the appropriate prescription for your eyewear needs.

Make sure your glasses are a good fit, as you’ll be wearing them for prolonged periods; many top brands focus on comfort as well as style, from Oakley to Hugo Boss. Ensure the frames sit snugly on your face without pinching or sliding, something you can do with opticians. Be sure to get regular eye checks, usually every two years, and make any adjustments needed with your optician so you can maintain optimal fit and comfort.

Blue Light Lenses

In addition to prescription glasses, consider investing in blue light lenses. Blue light lenses are specially designed to filter out harmful blue light emitted by digital screens. By reducing exposure to blue light, these lenses help alleviate symptoms of digital eye strain, such as eye fatigue, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

With their innovative technology and stylish designs, blue light lenses fitted in new glasses are an essential accessory for promoting optimal eye health in today’s digital age. Most major brands, from Ray-Ban to Marc Jacobs, offer frames that can be fitted with blue light glasses, so you could pair them with your prescription glasses and make a single purchase, your prescription with special blue light lenses, which is actually a special anti-reflection coating on a regular lens.

Optimise Your Workspace

Optimising your workspace is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health. Position your computer monitor at eye level to reduce strain. Ensure adequate lighting to minimise glare, and adjust screen brightness and font size for comfort. Incorporate ergonomic furniture to promote proper posture and prevent eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks to rest your eyes and stretch your muscles. Creating a conducive work environment can reduce the risk of digital eye strain and promote long-term eye health and productivity.

Prescription Sunglasses

Getting prescription sunglasses might not seem to be something triggered by working from home, but the opposite is true. Employees at home are more likely to have their lunch in the garden, for instance, or take a break walking up their street. In the office, going into a canteen or shared area is likely, but at home, lunch could mean venturing outdoors. After all, one of the benefits of working from home is enjoying your garden and house. Therefore, protecting your eyes when outside can be just as important.

If you’re heading out into the garden for lunch, be sure to have a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect you from UV rays and to ensure you’re not straining your eyes going out and reading a book or the newspaper. Brands such as Gucci and Ray-Ban will make you feel stylish on your break and 100% protected. Eye health at home doesn’t begin and end with the working day!

Self Care

It’s not all about the equipment you use, but also about how you look after yourself. You should strive to practice the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This simple yet effective technique helps reduce eye strain and fatigue by giving your eyes a much-needed rest from screen glare and digital blue light emissions. This certainly ties in with a walk around the garden, as a break can be good for your eyes and your mental health. Enjoy the greenery outside, with your prescription sunglasses, of course, and then return feeling refreshed with eyes ready to focus once more.

In addition, prioritise sleep by practising good sleep hygiene habits, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and minimising screen time before bed. Quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being but is also great for eye health. During sleep, the eyes remain closed, allowing them to rest and retain moisture, and while asleep, the muscles responsible for controlling eye movements and focusing relax, reducing strain and tension. Finally, during sleep, the cells in the eyes undergo repair and renewal, helping to maintain optimal visual function and supporting overall eye health.