Are you taking proper care of your eyes? With tech jobs on the rise in Australia, more and more of us are working with computers every day. But what is this doing to your eye health? Your eyes are among your most precious assets. So, for wellness month, we are focusing on workplace eye health, and what you can do to improve it if your eyes feel in less than great condition.

Why workplace eye health matters

These days, we all seem to spend huge amounts of time looking at screens. Most of us have to use computers as part of our jobs. Even when you’re not at work, how much time each day do you spend staring at the screen of your smartphone or tablet? It’s probably a lot more than you think.

Research suggests that computers shouldn’t cause permanent damage to your eyes, but they do put them under a lot of strain on a daily basis. This is why it is important to recognise the common symptoms that too much screen time can cause – and why, as part of wellness month, workplace eye health should be a focus for all of us.

Common workplace eye problems (and what to do about them)

1. Eye fatigue

Eye fatigue is extremely common in those who spend a lot of time looking at screens. You reach a point where your eyes feel tired, and all you want to do is close them. This is your body’s way of telling you that you are spending too much time at your computer.

This is why it is so important to take regular breaks during your working day. At the very least, you should aim to look away from the screen every 20 minutes. It can help if you focus on an object about six metres away, for at least 20 seconds, before you turn back to the screen. However, it is much better all round for your health if you can actually leave your desk, stretch and walk around at regular intervals.

You also need to position your screen properly if you want to prevent your eyes from getting tired. It should be positioned at least 0.6 metres away from you, and slightly lower than eye level, so you have to look down at it rather than staring straight ahead. Having an anti-glare screen can also help to reduce eye fatigue.

2. Dry eyes

Your eyes become dry when you spend a lot of time working at a computer. This is because it actually causes you to blink less. In normal life, we blink up to 18 times a minute. However, when we’re looking at a screen, this reduces to nine times a minute or less.

Blinking is extremely important for eye health. This is because, when we blink, our eyes get bathed with a protein-rich liquid that lubricates the eyes and cleanses them of dirt and debris. If we don’t blink regularly enough, this process is compromised, resulting in dry eyes that feel irritated and sore.

This is a common problem for those who work with computers. Luckily, it has a simple solution: remembering to blink more often! Try leaving a note next to your computer screen reminding you to blink, or learn to associate blinking with a regular work task such as opening an email.

If blinking doesn’t completely solve the problem, you can also consider using artificial tears at intervals during your working day. However, you should only use these if you’re sure your eyes aren’t infected.

Find out more about workplace eye health

If you want to find out more about protecting your eyes and improving your eye health, George Street Eye Centre Sydney is here to support you all the way. Our expert team will be happy to discuss your eye problems with you and find the right solutions.

To find out more, please call us on (02) 9230 0010, or contact us online. We want to help you keep your eyes in the very best of health.