Looks Like the Home Office is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Protect Your Eyes
As home and office space merged during the pandemic, many people said they spent more time in front of screens and suffered because of it. They complained of eye strain, headaches, and dry eye, and worried that they might be doing permanent damage to their vision. Now comes a new survey suggesting that two-thirds of businesses expect that their temporary work-from-home policies will become permanent post pandemic. In honor of March’s designation as Workplace Eye Wellness Month, the Stein Eye Institute, UCLA and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are sharing tips on how to create a comfortable work environment at home to avoid digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain is a group of eye problems that can happen after staring at a screen for too long. The symptoms include blurry vision, headaches, and tired, dry eyes. It happens because we blink less often when using screens. Blinking is important because it keeps the surface of the eye moisturized. Extended reading, writing or other intensive near work can also cause eye strain.
“The good news is that looking at a computer, tablet or smartphone for long periods of time will not cause permanent damage,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “As we’ve all experienced, staring at a screen for too long can cause some uncomfortable symptoms. But there are some simple changes you can make to ease the discomfort.”
If symptoms continue after trying these tips, see your ophthalmologist.
For more information on eye health, visit www.eyesmart.org.