17 tips to avoid vision problems while teleworking

Did you know that you can suffer from vision problems while teleworking excessively? Read on and learn about the most common conditions and how to take care of your eyes.

Last update: October 21, 2021

Spending many hours in front of a screen can have a variety of consequences, from distancing yourself from the people around you to vision problems while teleworking. Discomforts such as irritation, red eyes, blurred vision and even headaches are some of the symptoms caused by the abusive use of electronic devices.

Fortunately, with good hygiene habits you can avoid, prevent or reduce vision problems while teleworking, so your eyes don’t suffer more than they should. Taking care of eyesight is possible for those who do virtual work.

Teleworking and use of screens

Teleworking involves a large number of hours in front of the screen of a digital device. And it is that almost all the tasks that a person must perform in this remote or remote mode require an electronic device.

The problems can be further exacerbated when one considers the fact that, according to estimates, teleworkers spend at least 4 additional hours on screens compared to those who perform only face-to-face tasks.

After the tasks of their profession or trade, teleworkers also use electronic devices for leisure. Be it these televisions, tablets, computers, or phones. This means that a teleworker can spend more than 12 and up to 16 hours in front of screens during the day.

Currently, virtual education modalities, added to the wide range of leisure activities, are making people of all age groups spend a lot of time with such devices.



Vision problems while teleworking

All these situations described above can have consequences, negatively impacting the health of your eyes. Most of the symptoms and vision problems related to teleworking fall under what is known as computer visual syndrome:

  • Fatigue: Digital visual fatigue occurs due to the effort that the eye musculature must make to accommodate vision, keeping it focused on a nearby object continuously.
  • Dry eyes: Dry eye symptoms can be due both to incomplete blinking and to the joint effect of this with other factors.
  • Crying eyes: In addition to illnesses such as conjunctivitis, respiratory tract infections or allergies, constantly watching a screen can be another cause of watery eyes.
  • Blurry vision: After too long teleworking, you may notice diffuse cloudiness. This is usually temporary.
  • Red eyes: If the eye is not lubricated adequately, there may be dilation of the blood vessels, which is evidenced by a reddening of the sclera.

Other symptoms

Due to exertion for a long time, a situation of visual stress can arise. Apart from those already mentioned, other conditions derived from prolonged use of video screens are the following:

  • Double vision.
  • Dizziness
  • Photophobia.
  • Headache.

In studies no greater relationship has been found between the use of screens and increased myopia. However, a visit to the ophthalmologist should not be ruled out, whether you wear glasses or not.

Headaches and vision impairments are among the most common problems associated with the excessive use of screens.

Causes

It is important to clarify that vision problems while telecommuting are not directly due to the screens. It is considered that the radiation they emit does not affect ocular structures.

However, what can be detrimental is the daily time you dedicate to them, as well as the lack of precautions to avoid visual fatigue. There are a number of factors that can contribute to or exacerbate vision problems while telecommuting, including the following:

  • Environment with too intense light.
  • Poor lighting.
  • Incorrect posture or angle when looking at the screen.
  • View the monitor at a very close distance.
  • Brightness, contrast, and very small font size on the screen.
  • Careless use of corrective lenses.

In research on the subject no evidence found that people blink less at the screen. But it is claimed that quality is affected, increasing the number of incomplete blinks.



How to avoid or reduce vision problems while teleworking

The solution to vision problems while telecommuting is not to stop using your computer; even less to stop working. But there are other things you can do to prevent or reduce the consequences of screen misuse and abuse.

1. Lighting

One of the first causes of visual problems is inadequate lighting. Here are three factors to consider: type of light, intensity, and position.

It is preferable that the lighting is natural and abundant, without becoming excessive. If necessary, use curtains or blinds to regulate the amount entering the workplace.

In case the location of your workplace is not a space with a lot of natural light, you have to help yourself with artificial light. This, in the same way, should be moderate.

2. Screen brightness

You can regulate both the brightness and the color temperature on the screen. Even adjust according to the time and ambient light, be it natural or artificial.

To find out if the brightness is too high or not, do the following test. Stand behind the monitor and put your hand in front of it; see if the light reflecting off your skin looks like a movie projector. In that case, it is very high.

3. Screen protectors

It is still debated if the blue light emitted by the screens of the devices can be harmful to the eyes and if the filters in this regard are beneficial. A 2017 review suggests that there is not enough evidence to ensure this.

And while many monitors today already have shields to reduce glare, you can install an antiglare filter additional or reduction of blue light.

4. Enlarge the text

If the font size of the text you see on the screen is very small, it will cause vision problems when teleworking is long, since you will have to make more effort when focusing. Adjust it to be more readable.

5. Keep your distance

Between your eyes and the monitor there should be no less than 5o or more than 60 centimeters. People who work with desktop computers keep this distance better, because of the design of office furniture. But those who use tablets or phones tend to bring their face closer to the screen.

6. Maintain height

The center of the monitor it has to be a few inches below your eye line. The height of the chair and the location of the screen should allow this.

7. Blinks

Although we are very focused on the task, we must not forget to blink frequently, even if it is intentional.

8. Rest

Every so often, take your eyes off the screen and focus your gaze elsewhere for 15 to 20 seconds. It is recommended that it be to an object located more than 6 meters away. You must repeat it every 20 minutes. And you should at least take a 15 minute break after 2 hours of work.

9. Clean the windows

Clean the glass. This applies to both the screen and the conventional frame glasses if you use them. Take a cloth and dust the monitor. Clean the glasses with a soft tissue.

10. Hydration and ventilation

Prevent the output of the air conditioning, heating or fan, as the case may be, directly affecting your face. In case you have to work in conditions where the eyes tend to dry out, use artificial tears sparingly.

11. Good rest

You should give your eyes rest while you work and after you work. During the hours of sleep is when your eyes are closed the longest, protecting and lubricating the ocular surface. Thus, sleeping between 7 and 8 hours at night will help your eyesight be in better condition.

12. Food for sight

If you have to spend long hours in front of the screen, but you do not want to have vision problems due to teleworking, in addition to these prevention measures include foods rich in omega 3 in your diet.

13. Adjust your glasses

If you wear glasses, the first thing you should do is place them in your eyes when you go to work. On the table they do not fulfill their function well. Go to your exams regularly.

14. Reduce the use of contact lenses

If you are one of those who prefer contact lenses, better use them in other circumstances: when going out, in a social gathering, when doing sports. Conventional glasses are better for teleworking, because they protect your eyes and fatigue less.

For teleworking, aerial lenses are preferable and not contact lenses, since they tend to dry out the eye less.

15. Do not rub

When your eyes feel tired, dry or irritated from long time working, do not rub them. Even less without having washed your hands. Besides rubbing makes them more irritated, you can expose yourself to infections.

16. Eye exam

If you wear glasses, go to your regular exam. If you do not use, but you are a person who spends a lot of time in front of a computer, make an appointment in ophthalmology to diagnose or rule out any condition. The ophthalmologist will be able to advise you and indicate preventive measures to avoid vision problems while teleworking.

17. Stay away from the screens for a while

This is the hardest tip of all. If you are all day watching the computer monitor, at night you check your networks or watch a movie, your eyes will say Enough.

From time to time you have to change your leisure activity. Printed books and board games are good options. The latter will help the family to reunite and that your children also take a break from the screen and develop other skills.

Get used to good visual habits

Teleworking continues to grow around the world. More and more people carry out their tasks by connecting through a device.

The eyes are sensitive and delicate. They can be affected by various factors. We do not know how sustainable this form of use can be for our eyes.

Now, if you have gotten used to a new way of living and working at home, you can also get used to maintaining good habits and correct visual hygiene on a daily basis.

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