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What Your Employees Should Know About Computer Eye Strain

If your company requires regular use of computers at work, then your organization has probably already experienced some of the more obvious effects of computer eye strain, like eye pain or headaches. However, computer eye strain can affect employees in more ways than you would think and if left untreated, it can begin to affect employee job performance as well.

In order to protect employee health and the productivity of the company overall, organizations and employees must make changes in their day-to-day lives to combat the effects of computer eye strain.

How Can Computer Eye Strain Affect Employees

Computer eye strain is a condition that develops after an employee spends too much time engaging with digital devices. Today, most organizations rely heavily on digital devices, like laptops and smartphones for daily tasks and communication, especially if employees work remotely. However, this heavy reliance on digital screens has led to the possibility of employees experiencing side effects, like headaches, migraines, fatigue, irritability, eye strain, dry eyes, eye irritation, blurred vision, and double vision.

As a result, the discomfort employees may be feeling due to screen-heavy workdays can significantly decrease their productivity. According to The School of Optometry, even minor and unnoticeable vision problems can affect productivity by up to 20% and cause an increase in mistakes.

This occurs because digital blue light is a short wavelength on the visible light spectrum, which means it produces higher amounts of energy and is a stimulant. The proximity to the digital device and the amount of time employees are exposed puts them at greater risk of experiencing negative symptoms.

How to Combat Computer Eye Strain

Fortunately, there are methods employees can practice and tools they can use to limit their exposure and protect their eyes from the effects of blue light.

  1. Blue Light Glasses

In many cases, limiting screen time is simply not an option. Employees need to communicate with colleagues and meet deadlines and taking long breaks from screens can hurt their productivity just as much as too much screen time can. If this is the case, employees should wear anti blue light glasses to help block out some of the harmful blue light. Blue light glasses have specially coated polycarbonate lenses designed to filter out the negative blue light and let in the less harmful light from screens. Wearing these glasses when interacting with any kind of digital screen can protect the eyes from feeling the effects of computer eye strain.

  1. Adjust Lighting

Employees should adjust the lighting in their offices as it can create a glare on their screens, which can further overstimulate their eyes. By strategically positioning their computers, they can avoid harsh glare on their screens from windows and natural light, or fluorescent lighting. However, if the lighting in their offices fluctuates or they experience glare reflecting off of white walls or finished surfaces they might consider using an anti-glare screen protector, which can reduce glare, reflection, and eye strain.

  1. Eye Exercises

Employees should also consider practicing eye exercises throughout the workday to give their eyes a break from screens. Blinking is very important when working with a digital screen because it hydrates the eye and keeps it from drying out. However, when looking at digital screens for extended periods, employees have been known to blink less because of the stimulation.

There are many different types of eye exercises, like the 20-20-20 rule, focus techniques, and even eye yoga that employees can practice throughout the day. Management should encourage employees to take a 5-minute break every hour to practice the eye exercise of their choosing. This can hydrate the eyes, improve vision, decrease computer eye strain, and increase productivity. Remind employees to practice their eye exercises with flyers posted around the office or daily email reminders.

Computer eye strain has become more and more common as of late. Not only are employees becoming irritable and uncomfortable working long hours, but they are also experiencing decreased productivity. They must be made aware of ways they can avoid computer eye strain and its harmful side effects sooner rather than later.

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