Now, more than ever, we are using digital devices for hours on end! Zoom calls, intensive online learning, and secretly browsing Facebook - that is a lot of work for your eyes!
Here's a couple of simple steps to take:
1) Take breaks. Every 20 minutes look up from your screen and focus on something 20 feet away for around 20 seconds. This helps to relax your eye and reduce eye strain. When we look at something close our eyes 'accommodate' which means that the 'crystalline lens' in our eye is focused to allow for more precise near vision. To do this we use the 'ciliary muscles' which actively stretch and loosen like an elastic band to alter the thickness of the lens.
2) Adjust the lighting. Be sure that your screen is not set to a brightness that is uncomfortable, especially if you are working late into the night. Bright light makes our pupils constrict, which is just destined to give you a headache. The lightning needs to be appropriate for what you are doing.
3) Improve the air quality of your space. I recommend not sitting under an air conditioning vent since this can be a source of dry eye. Also consider using a humidifier and avoiding smoke. If you do smoke, it's time to quit!
4) Use artificial tears. Lubricating drops that don't contain preservatives can be used as often as you need. If the drops you're using contain preservatives, don't use them more than four times a day. Avoid eyedrops with a redness remover, as these may worsen dry eye symptoms.
5) Use blue light protective glasses. Blue light comes from computer screens and artificial lighting. Blue light focuses just before the retina -- this means that the eye has to accommodate to get the best image. If we remove the blue light at the surface of the lens you will notice much less fatigue and eye strain! If you are using an iphone you can also turn on 'night mode' which essentially does the same thing. If you need blue light protective lenses then give me a call.