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Is Working from Home Hurting My Vision? 4 Habits to Adopt

Remote work has become the new norm for many people. It’s convenient and adds flexibility to your daily routine, but the time spent on digital screens at home can take a toll on your eyes. 

If you're wondering whether working from home is hurting your vision, the answer is likely yes. Up to 90% of people who work on a computer have symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Here, the Maryland Eye Care Center team discusses how remote work can affect your eyes and four habits you can adopt to protect your vision.

How remote work can hurt your vision

Remote workers spend an additional 2.5 hours working compared with in-office workers. That might increase your productivity, but it also can impact your eye health: 

Remote work means increased screen time

Working from home often means more time looking at computer monitors, tablets, and smartphones. Extended screen time can lead to computer vision syndrome (digital eye strain).

More screen time means you blink less 

People focused on screens tend to blink less frequently. Reduced blinking can lead to dry and irritated eyes, making them more vulnerable to strain.

Home offices are often poorly lighted

Inadequate lighting in home workspaces can cause glare on screens or the need to squint, contributing to eye strain.

Remote work can encourage a sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts your eye health as well as your overall health. Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining healthy eyes.

Protect your eyes when working at home

Here are four habits you can adopt today to protect your vision while working at home: 

1. Take frequent eye breaks 

To reduce digital eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at a picture or another object at least 20 feet away. This short break allows your eyes to relax and blink.

The 20-20-20 break is also a good time to stretch your neck, shoulders, arms, and wrists. Short breaks throughout the day can help reduce muscle stiffness and tension in your body.

2. Focus on ergonomics

Ergonomics is about ensuring your work environment is right for the work you do. At home, you might be tempted to work from the couch or bed, and while that may be comfortable, it doesn’t put your eyes at the right angle for using screens.

Adjust your computer screen so it’s at eye level and about 20 inches from your eyes. Proper screen positioning can also help reduce neck strain.

Lighting is also part of ergonomics. Position your computer so that natural light is diffused to avoid screen glare. (If you’re prone to migraines, glare can easily trigger one.) Adjusting your room lighting to reduce contrast can help prevent light-induced eye strain.

3. Blink more 

Increased computer usage (or any screen) leads to dry, irritated eyes. Blinking more often keeps your eyes moist and comfortable.

4. Adopt eye-friendly lifestyle habits

Drinking water, exercising, and attending regular eye exams promotes healthy eyes. Dehydration contributes to dry eyes, so keep a water bottle at your desk to stay hydrated. 

Schedule regular eye exams at Maryland Eye Care Center to monitor your eye health and ensure prompt treatment of any issues. Discuss your remote work setup with your eye care specialist so they can provide specific recommendations.

Dry, tired eyes? We can help!

Call one of our convenient locations in Silver Spring or Hyattsville, Maryland, today to explore your treatment options for dry eyes or computer eye syndrome. You can also request an appointment online.

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