As the UK continues to emerge from lockdown and the anticipation of returning to the office looms, it’s important to remember how to look after your eyes. Whilst working from home, you may have taken a different approach to your work day, taking frequent breaks from the screen to pop a wash load on or take in the post, but once you return to the office you may find yourself spending more hours in front of a monitor without a break. To help you protect your eyes from work related strain, here are our top eye care tips for returning to the office.

Protect against digital eye strain

Working in an office might sound like the least hazardous occupation, but the working environment does present its own challenges, particularly for your eyes. Digital eye strain is a common condition that affects many office workers. It is caused by spending too much time in front of a screen, exposed to blue light and straining to read small text. Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Eye pain
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Headache 
  • Neck ache
  • Blurred vision

Digital eye strain may also interrupt your sleep, as screen time at night with over exposure to blue light, fools the brain into thinking it is day time when it is actually night time, which can affect your sleep pattern.

Try blue light filter glasses

It’s not all doom and gloom though for office workers, as there are blue light filter glasses available, which feature lenses that have been designed to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches the eyes. They look the same as normal glasses, but you might just note a very slight yellow hue on the lenses.

What is blue light filter? 

Glasses that feature a blue light filter have specially designed lenses that filter out the blue light rays, stopping them from entering your eyes and causing damage. A blue light filter can also be applied to your digital devices such as mobile phones and pads, to reduce the amount of blue light displayed on the screen. It is recommended that you use this filter, particularly at night time, as it reduces blue light exposure which would otherwise suppress the production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin and disrupt your sleep. Applying a blue light filter to your mobile devices in addition to wearing glasses with a blue light filter, will decrease your exposure to the harmful blue light rays and prevent your eyes from feeling so tired.

Make sure you have the recommended computer setup

In addition to wearing the right glasses and minimising blue light exposure, you can help your eyes by making sure you have the right computer setup. This means moving your monitor so it is arms length away from you, adjusting the monitor or your chair to make sure your eye level falls about 2 inches below the top of the monitor and adjusting the brightness so it is not too bright, or too dim that you have to strain to see anything.

Use eye drops to soothe sore, tired eyes

Eye drops can help keep your eyes lubricated whilst spending a lot of time in front of a screen. There are a range of over-the-counter eye drops, mists, gels and sprays to soothe tired and irritated eyes or add artificial tears to dry eyes.

Take regular breaks

It might be easier said than done when you’re back in the swing of your office routine, but taking regular breaks from your screen can stop your eyes from becoming too strained. Every ten minutes or so, spend ten seconds looking away from your screen at something else. This gives your eyes a chance to relax and defocus. Every hour, if possible, make a point of getting up from your desk and doing something else such as going for a little walk, even if it’s just around the office or to the kitchen, this will not only give your eyes a break from the screen but will benefit your overall health, helping you to stretch muscles and limbs and get a little exercise.

Following these eye care tips will help to protect your eyes from digital eye strain on your return to the office. If you’d like to find out more about blue light filter glasses, or replace the lenses in your current glasses with blue light filter lenses contact us on 01905 613020 or ask at your next appointment.

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