"Stop staring at that screen! It's bad for your eyes!" If your mother or father screamed those sentences at you when you were young, you're not alone. It's well established that screentime is not the best for your eye health, but unfortunately the reality is that many people's jobs require them to spend 8 or more hours in front of a screen each day. Does this mean you're doomed to a lifetime of cloudy vision and dry eyes? Not necessarily. There are some things you can do (short of quitting your job) to preserve your eye health.
Keep eye drops handy.
The primary reason why all of that screentime is so bad is that it dries out your eyes. When you stare at a screen, you tend to blink less than you normally would. Since blinking distributes tears across your eyes, a lack of blinking leads to eye dryness, which in turn leads to much of the fatigue and cloudy vision you experience after hours behind a computer.
So, the key to maintaining your eye health is to keep your eyes moist, and eye drops help with that. Keep a bottle of plain, lubricating eye drops handy, and insert them every couple of hours or when your eyes start to feel dry. If you wear contacts, make sure you buy eye drops that are designed for contact lens wearers.
Turn the brightness down.
Your eyes also grow tired from dealing with the excessive light coming from your screen. Turn your brightness down as far as you can without having to strain to see the screen. If the lights in your office are very bright, consider dimming them so that you can keep your screen dimmer, too. Additionally, try looking away from your screen whenever you have a moment of downtime. Giving your eyes even a slight break from the brightness will help ward off tiredness.
Consider computer glasses.
If turning down your lights and screen is not an option (as it may not be if you work in a cubicle where bright, overhead lights are the norm), an alternative is computer glasses. These are similar to sunglasses, but they're specially designed to block the most tiring, harmful wavelengths of light that are emitted by computer screens. Most opticians carry them, and you can wear them even if you don't need corrective lenses since, like sunglasses, they come in non-magnifying versions. If you have questions or are interested in these or other eyewear, contact Gerald A York Opticians.