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Many of us rely on our eyesight as our primary sense – especially when it comes to work. In a landscape when working at a computer for eight or more hours a day is normal, it is more important than ever to take care of your eye health and keep your eyes protected. Let’s take a look at how you can achieve this no matter where you work.

Ensure you have good lighting

Working in good lighting is essential to your eye health. Even if your screen is emitting a lot of light, you may still be squinting and straining your eyes by working in low light. The contrast created by low lighting and the bright light of your screen can also mean you struggle to focus your eyes and therefore they have to work harder.

Check your desk setup

Your desk setup can play a big role in taking care of your eyesight. As well as working in adequate lighting, you should also take time to assess how you are sitting in relation to your screen. Sitting too close to the screen can be detrimental to your eyesight, as your eyes are exposed to excessive blue light which can increase eye strain and tiredness. One of the main tasks of great workplace leadership is to listen to employees to help empower teams and maintain morale. So, if an employee is struggling with their desk setup, it’s a manager’s or team leader’s duty to ensure that they have a comfortable workstation that meets suitable working requirements. 

Remember protective eyewear

If you are working in a less office-based environment, without heavy daily screen use, you may not think that eyecare is as important. However, certain working environments can be hazardous to your eyes for a variety of reasons. For example, if you are working in a construction environment, or with chemicals of some kind, your eyes can easily become damaged by debris. Even workplaces with a high volume of smoke or steam can dry your eyes out, or if you work outside in cold conditions. If you work somewhere with environmental factors such as these, always ensure you are wearing the correct protective eyewear – this might be goggles, or even just wearing your own glasses.

Take regular breaks

It can be easy to spend too much time looking at your screen, but this can lead to vision issues. The best thing to do when you are busy at work (or even at home), is to use the 20-20-20 rule to help improve your eye health and vision. These exercises can help you to rest and refocus your eyes. You should ensure that you take time every 20 minutes to look at an object which is 20 feet away from you. Look at this object for at least 20 seconds, and consciously move your eyes and blink. This will moisten your eyes and refocus your attention as you go back to work.

Get your eyes checked

Regularly booking in for an optical exam is essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Knowing what your prescription is and if you are wearing the correct glasses or contact lenses can prevent eye damage. Even if you do not need prescription lenses, glare from your screen can be very detrimental, so you may wish to invest in blue light-blocking glasses to reduce screen glare.

Practice healthy habits

Even aside from practices that are directly related to your eye health, taking breaks from looking at screens when at home can ease the chances of eye strain occurring due to over-exposure, while keeping yourself hydrated can also prevent your eyes from drying out and becoming itchy and irritated. To aid good performance and concentration at work, getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising, are just some healthy habits to incorporate into your lifestyle.

While screens may be a part of our daily lives, it is important to remember that they can be more damaging than you might think. With a few simple steps, it is a little easier to take real care of your eye health and enjoy better vision for longer.