Protect Your Eyes: A Guide for Working From Home

Does your eyesight feel like it’s gotten worse while working full time from home due to the pandemic? Do you experience more frequent headaches or a pain that feels like its directly behind your eyes?

I know I definitely feel blinder than normal. But it makes sense. I wake up, pull out my computer, and work behind a screen all day. To top it off, many “breaks” from work involve my phone — not exactly a break for my eyes.

I’ve found four things have helped immensely.

1. Invest in Blue Light Blocking Glasses

It took me too long to invest in a pair of blue light glasses, but I’d say this has been the most helpful thing I’ve done to stop getting headaches from a screen. When I wear my blue light blocking glasses, my eyes don’t feel as strained at the end of the day.

I’m not recommending a particular product here, but they’re available for purchase just about everywhere that sells eye glasses, and even a pair on the cheaper end (around $20) I’ve heard from a coworker still does wonders.

2. Practice Eye Relaxation Exercises Regularly

Taking eye breaks is important, but so is practicing relaxation exercises. There is one exercise in particular that I’ve found to be especially relaxing on my eyes.

Cup your hand and place it over one eye, keeping your eye open and making sure to leave a space between your eye and your hand. Do NOT apply any pressure directly on your eye. You’re essentially creating a dark environment for your eye to relax.

Make sure your other eye—the one that isn’t covered—gazes off and focuses on something that is mid- to far distance. Remain in this position (blinking both eyes when you need to) for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then repeat on the other side.

Complete the exercise periodically throughout the day, extending the time as need be.

3. Break Up Your Day With Activities That Do Not Require A Screen

Whether it’s a walk, another form of exercise, or just some time sitting to have an in person conversation, pick an activity that allows you to look at something farther away. The trees, the sky, homes in the neighborhood, loved ones.

Aim to do this at least 2-3 times a day. When commuting to the office, we naturally give ourselves these breaks. The walk to the metro, walking throughout the office building, meeting up with friends after work, driving to and from, whatever it may be.

It’s easy to fall into a habit of not doing it as frequently when working from home. If we transition from looking at one screen to looking at another (phone or TV) immediately after completing work (or worse yet, we never stop working) our eyes do not get as long of breaks as they need.

It takes effort and establishing boundaries with your work, but it makes a big difference.

4. Enable Night Light Settings on Your Devices — Even During the Day

I’ve found this to be helpful not only before bed, but even during the day time.

Depending on your computer settings, you can switch to a much more orange light, which takes significant strain off your eyes.

If you find the night light settings on your device aren’t strong enough, there are a number of free plugins for your browser that can help such as f.lux.

The only exception I’ve experienced is when you’re working on something that involves colors/adding colors to a design. If this is the case, the orange light makes it hard to tell what colors you’re seeing.

Have you tried anything I didn’t mention in this list? If so, I’d love to hear it! Comment below 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: