Relieve eye strain
If we’ve gotten closer to anything in this era of social distancing, it’s our screens. To top that off, working from home (WFH) keeps us at our desks for long hours without the change of scenery that we’d usually get from commuting. Nearly every waking hour facing a screen of sorts and understandably led to some very strained and tired sockets. For those with dry and tired eyes, here are eight things that you can do to relieve eye strain.
Read our similar articles:
- Things we miss about working in the office
- Zoom hacks to improve online meetings
- Free online libraries
- Basic computer troubleshooting hacks for PC owners
1. Protect your eyes with blue light glasses
Just like how sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, blue light glasses will shield your eyes from all the blue light coming from your screen especially during this WFH period. In case you weren’t aware, the blue wavelengths that your monitor gives out has been proven to disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and can potentially create eye strain.
To prevent your body clock from going out of sync and potentially disrupting your precious beauty sleep, you can fit your spectacle frames with lenses that filter out blue light like Lenskart’s Blue Light glasses (from $148). You can even score a second pair of glasses for free by signing up for their Gold Membership ($30).
The many fashion-forward choices of frames from Lenskart
You get the option of choosing from a selection of stylish spectacle frames with Lenskart so you can still look well put together even during Zoom meetings, and their comfortability ensures that they’re good to wear for the long hours you’re at your desk.
P.S. You can book a free eye test with Lenskart online here.
2. Use a standing desk converter
The postures and positions that we can take on while working at home are completely up to us. Lying on a beanbag, nua-ing on the bed, or slouching on the couch – the possibilities are endless.
Multi-layered standing desk converter
Image credit: Fitfit Health
But long hours of work inevitably give rise to eye and posture strain. And with all the long hours of work we’re doing at home, what your eyes, shoulders, neck and back will thank you for, is proper posture through the day. That is, making sure that the top of your screen lies slightly below eye level and is tilted a little upwards.
One of the ways you can ensure this is by investing in a standing desk converter. On top of raising your computer screen to an optimal height for minimal strain on the eyes, these also give you the option to be on your feet while working to combat food coma.
Alternatively, you can also DIY this setup with a couple of books under your computer – just make sure that it’s as stable as a rock before you place your precious laptop or monitor on it!
3. Sun your eyes for 3 minutes
We all know that the sun is good for getting in some vitamin D and a beachy tan. But here’s a fun fact: it helps maintain good eyesight too, through activating the macula – the part of your retina that deals with clear central vision.
To sun your eyes, remove your glasses and contact lenses, close your eyes, face the sun and turn your head from shoulder to shoulder. According to optometrists, you should do this for about three minutes. But while you’re at it, make sure to avoid staring directly at the sun.
For those who OT past sunset, you can also do the same thing with a lamp.
4. Treat yourself to a steam eye mask
Facial masks aren’t the only mask you can add to your vanity table. If your eyes are dry, tired and feel like they’re on the brink of poppin’, consider a steam eye mask to warm up the eye area to relieve eye fatigue. This will help the muscles around the eyes relax and leave your eyes feelin’ lighter and refreshed.
Relieve eye strain with a steam mask
Image adapted from: MegRhythm Singapore
Alternatively, you can also take a clean cloth, dip it into warm water, squeeze it dry, and place it over your eyes for a minute.
5. Take five and do eye exercises
It’s important to keep our body well-exercised and the same goes for the eyes. After a whole day of staring at documents online, bring a little eye movement into the picture with a quick eye accommodation exercise.
To do this, hold one index finger at eye level, half an arm’s length away from your eye and another index finger along the same eye line, but with the arm straightened. Bounce your gaze from one finger to the other for about a minute and this should get your eye muscles relaxed.
For an even quicker eye exercise, channel your inner Regina George and roll your eyes to give the eye muscles a quick stretch.
6. Use blue light filters
Blue light filters are a handy dandy tool that many of us use to protect our eyes from the jarring blues from our phone screens. But those spending plenty of time working from their computers might be glad to know that the function is also inbuilt into most laptops as well.
Night Shift filter on Macbook
Image credit: Kezia Tan
They tend to be hidden out of sight rather than displayed on hotbars. On Macbook, you can adjust it under the Night Shift function and on Windows 10 system, find it under Night Light.
For those who prefer not to mess with the screen colours, you can also consider PC lenses that reflect blue light such as those from Owndays. Contact lens wearers can check out the ACUVUE’s transition lenses which filter out both blue light and UV rays.
7. Palm eyes between long periods of work
Palming is a soothing trick that you can do at any point of your screen time to give your eyes a light massage. Given all the visual stimuli we constantly get, this quick method will immerse the eye in darkness, just like when you go to sleep, and allow them to relax for a bit.
This simple technique only requires you to rub your palms together for some warmth and then lightly press them over your eyes. Release your hands once your eyes feel less strained.
Hygiene is paramount, especially now, so don’t be lazy and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face.
8. Place your work desk next to a window
The age-old trick to taking an eye break is to look far into the distance, but if you’re immersed in your work, it’s easy to forget to do so.
Image credit: Chiara Ang
Now that you have the flexibility of moving your workspace wherever – or at least wherever in the house – pick a spot near a window. That way, you’ll get plenty of natural sunlight to light up your space. To top that off, every time you look up, you’ll be able to take a quick eye break.
To top that off, open the window grills to enjoy the view of the great outdoors – that’ll definitely help relieve any cabin fever.
Give your eyes a break
With work, online games and Zoom calls taking up most of our time these days, it’s easy to stare at a screen non-stop for 12 hours a day. So be mindful of how much strain your eyes are feeling and give them a break every once in a while.
After all, “free as a bird” is the saying that we want to embody once Covid-19 tides over – not “blind as a bat”!
This article contains partial partnership content. However, all opinions are ours.
Cover image adapted from: MegRhythm Singapore (Right)
Originally published on 30th April 2020. Last updated by Josiah Neo on 28th May 2021.