Health and well-being in the workplace is incredibly important. But how much do you think about your eye health? Staring at a screen at work for hours on end can take a real toll on your eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses. Here’s how to keep your eyes feeling comfortable all day.
Choose your lenses carefully
You should always purchase contact lenses from a reputable brand through one of the many trusted retailers out there. If you want to purchase contact lenses with no prescription required, there are also many reputable European retailers selling US-manufactured contact lenses. Always check that your lenses are in line with your prescription.
If you spend all day in front of a computer screen, you may decide to opt for lenses that are designed to keep the eyes moist and lubricated all day long. By purchasing contact lenses that keep your eyes moist, your lenses and eyes will feel moisturised and more comfortable for much longer. If you still feel that your eyes are sore even after switching to moisture-rich lenses, start making a conscious effort to blink more often and apply eye drops to make your eyes feel better.
There are also some lenses available with a smoother gel or silicone surface. This type of lens encourages more oxygen to flow through it to the eye, and also glides across the surface of the eye more easily, making it more comfortable to wear for long periods. This type of lens is great for people using computers who suffer from tired eyes at the end of the day.
Take breaks to prevent eye strain
Eye strain is a common complaint among those who use computers every day for work. You should take a break every hour when using a computer screen to prevent eye strain, especially if you wear contact lenses. Symptoms of eye strain include feeling tired, sore, itchy eyes, dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain and trouble focusing. Some people also experience greater sensitivity to light. Eye strain goes away of its own accord once you have rested your eyes.
Although it is hard to adjust the number of hours you are based in front of a screen (if you use a computer for work), you can take steps to reduce eye strain and make your contact lenses feel more comfortable. Start by focusing on objects that are further away from you (this can be achieved by looking out of the window, for example). Looking at great distances helps the ‘focus’ muscles inside your eye to relax, so they become less tired. Other options include taking regular breaks, head massage, ensuring that the room you’re working in has enough natural and artificial lighting, and the use of eye drops.
If you’re using a computer device all day for work, did you know that you naturally tend to blink less frequently when staring at the screen? Because you blink less when you use a computer, this can lead to dry eye and irritation, which can make your contact lenses feel ‘lumpy’ inside your eyes. Eye strain, feeling tired and the appearance of red, sore eyes are major causes of not blinking enough, especially when you wear contact lenses.
You may also experience blurred vision if you are not blinking enough, especially if you are staring at a computer screen for extended amounts of time. Normally, the average person blinks every five seconds. When you use a computer, sometimes you may not blink more than twice or three times a minute. Can you imagine how dry that makes your eyes? We also don’t blink as completely when we use a computer, meaning that our eye doesn’t get the full benefit of the tear going across the entire surface of the eye to refresh it.
When you are using a computer, try to consciously blink more frequently and use eye drops if necessary to lubricate the eyes during times when you forget to.
Check your posture and positioning
If you use a computer frequently, how you look at your monitor while wearing contact lenses greatly affects your eyes. Never look upwards towards your monitor. The American Optometric Association gives the recommendation that a computer screen be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches), measured from the center of the screen, and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes. This prevents eye strain, tired eyes and ensures that you are using the screen correctly. Your chair should also be providing you with enough support, as another symptom of computer vision syndrome is a painful neck and shoulders. Make sure your chair properly supports you while you type. You may not realise it, but this can affect your overall eye health.