Working days can be long, but they can feel even longer if you’re exhausted. One thing that can trick you into thinking that you’re really tired (when you’re perhaps more awake than you think), is when your eyes are tired or dry.
What makes your eyes tired?
Staring at a screen, or looking down at your laptop, tablet or mobile phone for long periods of time without breaks will often cause eyes to feel strained, tired and even painful. Depending on the type of screen, more or less damage can be done – either by making you feel tired, or potentially by damaging your eyes long term.
Symptoms of staring at the screen for too long
Eye strain is a common symptom of having spent too long staring at a screen, and can cause tension headaches. If you have a tension headache, get up and walking away from your screen. Try to spend at least five minutes away from your screen and ideally get some fresh air. Then, when you’re back at your screen, make sure that you look away from it to focus on something in the distance for at least twenty seconds, every twenty minutes.
Looking at something in the distance makes you blink to re-focus, which renews the liquid in your eyes. Keeping a comfortable, hydrated surface over your eyes will prevent ‘dry eye’, which can cause your eyes to feel tired and itchy.
Long term tissue damage
Mobile phones and tablets usually feature screens that emit blue light, which is the type of light that can cause the longest-term damage to your eye’s tissue, due to its short wavelengths.
How to prevent your eyes from feeling tired
- Take regular breaks away from the screen
- If you’re using a mobile phone or tablet, hold it almost at arms’ length (but so that you can still see what’s on it without squinting)
- If using a computer or laptop, make sure that your straight-ahead line of sight is parallel to the top of the screen
- Block out light that is causing glare on your screen, or reposition your screen so that it’s not reflecting sunlight etc.
- If you can see reflections in your screen, then reduce the brightness resolution on the screen
- Blink! Keep your eyes from drying out by renewing the layer of moisture over your eyes by blinking.
For advice about keeping healthy and comfortable at work, call Tracy on 07794 311201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A specialist in workplace health and wellbeing, Tracy is also an expert in musculoskeletal health and so can ensure that you’re not only keeping your eyes safe whilst using screens, but that you’re keeping the best interests of your spine and joints in mind too.