From reading and typing away on our laptops to using our mobile phones and watching TV, the things we do from day-to-day can really affect our eye health. Many of us suffer from tired eyes, dry eyes or eye strain but few of us do very much about it. In the long term, these minor symptoms and discomforts can impact on our eye health so it’s important we do everything we can to eliminate these problems.
There are safe and correct ways of conducting day-to-day things, including the distance we should be holding a book from our face and the correct lighting for close-up tasks or computer related work.
Here’s a quick guide to help you look after your eye health properly, at work and at home.
Using Computers and Eye Health
Staring at a screen all day can be very harmful to our eyes. And research has shown that looking at computer screens can cause more eye fatigue than that of TV screens so it’s important we exercise the correct recommendations in order to prevent strain and tiredness.
Use Correct Lighting:
The best lighting for computer work is usually half the brightness of most office or home lighting. Ambient lighting is the safest lighting when working on your computer so if possible, try to avoid sitting anywhere with too much glare. If you have blinds to block out the sun, make sure you use them. If you use a task lamp, choose one with minimal glare and an asymmetric lens.
Glare is one of the biggest causes of eye fatigue when working with computers and laptops. Invest in an anti-glare screen that can be attached to your monitor to prevent this from happening.
Get the Right Screen:
Modern LCD screens are much better than old CRT monitors due to the fact that these older screens have a tendancy to flicker. If you are shopping for a new laptop or computer, look for a screen with the highest resolution and one which also has an anti-reflective surface.
TVs and Safe Watching Distances
When it comes to the recommended viewing distance for TVs, you should be sitting around 9 feet away from your television. This distance is recommended for a screen size of up to 90 inches, which covers most television sizes for the average home. The distance of 9 feet also applies diagonally, so to ensure that everyone in the family can see the TV screen comfortably, measure this distance from all angles of the sofas and chairs in the living room.
If you are still unsure of what size TV you should get, use this handy TV size / distance calculator rtings.com as guidance.
(Img src: cnet.com)
Other tips for avoiding eye fatigue when watching TV is to:
- Take regular breaks from watching the television
- Wear glasses if you have a prescription (don’t strain your eyes if you can’t see)
- Don’t sit too close to the TV (and make sure your kids don’t either)
- Close the blinds / curtains if you are experiencing problems with glare
Reading and Small Tasks
Whether you love to bury your head in books and magazines or you have to study for school / college / university, doing small tasks such as reading for a long period of time can make your eyes feel tired, sore and irritated. If you suffer from dry eyes a lot, it could be a good idea to carry some soothing eye drops in your bag or pocket so you can rehydrate whenever you need to. You can also minimise eye fatigue by reading at the recommended safe distance.
Recommended Reading Distance:
The optimal reading distance for books/magazines/computer tablets is about 18 inches. This is known as the ‘Harmon Distance’ and is measured against people who are considered to have normal vision. So if you are short-sighted or long-sighted, it’s important that you apply this distance once your glasses / contacts are on. As a quick guide, this distance is the same as the distance between your knuckle and your elbow. Please also remember that this distance is significantly shorter for younger children.
Eye Drops for Sore Eyes:
If you suffer from sore eyes after concentrating on small tasks such as reading or writing, here are some eye drops which could help to keep your eyes hydrated and soothed all day. Remember to carry them with you wherever you go and always keep a bottle handy.
- Blink Contacts Eye Drops – suitable for contact lens wearers and creates a moisture cushion to protect your eyes all day.
- Hycosan EXTRA Eye Drops – these eye drops contain 0.2% Hyaluronic Acid and are suitable for the most severe cases of dry / sore eyes. They are preservative free and are compatible with all contact lenses as well as being suitable for glasses wearers.
- Systane Lubricant Eye Drops – acting as a hydrating lubricant, these drops are ideal for preventing sore eyes and irritation.