A vast majority of employees spend multiple hours each day viewing computer screens. So it goes without saying that our ability to see information is vital to job performance. Unfortunately, according to the United States Center for Disease Control, in 2015 approximately 12 million people in the United States had some degree of vision impairment.
Here are a few ways you can protect your eyes and maintain good vision for years to come:
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look about 20 feet away and focus for 20 seconds. This change in focus causes the ciliary muscles, which control the shape of the lens in the eyes, to contract and release differently than when viewing objects up close. Changing your focus regularly is a workout for your eyes, like crunches for the abdominals.
- Beware of glare. Glare can cause fatigue in the eye muscles as your eyes try to focus around it to see the image on the screen. To reduce it, position your monitor perpendicular to windows and direct light from lamps, and use blinds or window shades to block direct sunlight.
- Blink often. The human eyeball is covered in living cells that require the oils and moisture generated by the body to stay alive. Blinking regularly maintains adequate moisture by carrying the water from your tear ducts, and the oils from your lash line, over the surface of your eyes. If your eyes often feel dry or itchy, talk to your doctor about artificial tears or prescription eye drops.
- Get regular eye exams. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, be sure to keep to a regular eye exam schedule to maintain eye health. Your doctor may even recommend a pair made specifically for computer work to increase the contrast on the screen and filter out glare.