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Eye Health Week – Taking care of your eyes

Do you work long hours in front of a display screen?

If you are rubbing your eyes or blinking too often at work, there is a chance you may not have the optimum workstation set-up. Our eyes do more work in a day than we give them credit for; they take in such a vast amount of information, and to do so they are intently focusing on your surroundings. Your eyes should be as high a priority as any muscular pain.

While working with DSE does not cause permanent damage to eyes, extended use of DSE can lead to:

  • Tired eyes
  • Discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Temporary short-sightedness

What can give you DSE eyestrain?

Eyestrain can occur for a number of different reasons;

  • Working in the wrong light conditions
  • Having to readjust your focal distance too frequently, or not often enough.
  • Insufficient breaks
  • Long periods working with computer or electronic screens (Collectively known as DSE)

What can you do to reduce your risk of eyestrain?

If your workstation is set up correctly, then it is less likely that you will experience eyestrain. Here are a few tips:

  • It is best to set up your workstation perpendicular to a window. Computers set up so that the user is sat facing a window can encounter frequent changes in daylight levels which often fluctuate from bright sun to sudden cloud or rain. Similarly, those users sat with their back to the window may have similar issues with glare. That said, natural lighting can still be more beneficial than artificial lighting.
  • Where artificial lighting is being used, try setting the brightness of your screen to the same level as the room to reduce the amount of extra blue light from the monitor.
  • Employ individual desk lamps to light up dark corners or as an alternative to stark overhead tubes.
  • Experiment with less harsh background and font colours; something like dark blue font on pastel blues/lilac background can be soothing when typing lengthy documents/reports and it only takes a moment to convert it back to black on white before saving or sharing.
  • The height of your screen should be set so that the top line of your display is at eye level if you look directly forward, with the bottom angled slightly towards you. This ensures that your eyes are in the optimal position for surveying your screen.
  • Regular short breaks are also beneficial to you when working with DSE, ideally these breaks will involve a change in activity so don’t just reach for another device such as your phone or tablet!
  • Have your eyes tested by a professional optician at regular intervals as they can often detect other health conditions too, as well as caring for your eyesight. You could also consult your company eyesight policy to see if eye tests are funded.

It’s always best to have your eyes checked regularly to ensure you have the correct prescription eye-wear

National Eye Healthy Week

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