How To Avoid Dry Eyes In The Office
Dry eye syndrome is a common complaint amongst workers in air-conditioned offices, but a number of steps can be taken to keep your eyes healthy at work.
In our modern working environment, many of us may spend around 8 hours per day in front of a computer screen. In addition to this excessive time in front of screens, the use of air conditioning in our offices may lead to dry, irritated eyes. This article will look at some of the ways in which we can maintain good eye health in the office.
About Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a relatively common complaint amongst office workers and occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears (or the tears evaporate too quickly). When the eyes dry out they can become red, swollen and irritated and may even start to water as the body’s way of trying to relieve the irritation. Often the symptoms of dry eyes are mild, but they can be troublesome.
If symptoms begin to affect your daily life you should visit an optician or your GP. They may suggest treating your eyes with eye drops to lubricate the eyes and medications to reduce inflammation.
What Are The Causes?
There are many reasons why the eyes may become dry, these include age, hormone changes and hot, windy environments. However, in the workplace the most likely cause is air conditioning, which can reduce moisture levels in the air, leading to dry eyes.
Helpful Steps To Maintain Good Eye Health In The Office
There are a number of ways to care for your eyes that can help prevent dry eye syndrome or other forms of eye irritation.
Have Your Eyes Examined
Firstly, you should have a comprehensive eye examination to ensure your eyes are healthy and that you do not need glasses. Your optician can also give you some advice on how to keep your eyes healthy such as how far away you should sit from the screen.
Eye strain can be caused by excessive bright light from outside or inside the room or from the computer screen itself. Therefore ensure lighting is kept at a good level in the office and that blinds are fitted for sunny weather.
Adjust Computer Display Settings
You should reduce the brightness of the display screen to roughly the same brightness as your surrounding area. Additionally, if the text size is too small, it is also possible to adjust this to a more comfortable size for your eyes. This is especially important when reading long documents.
Blink More Often
One very easy step to prevent dry, irritated eyes is to blink more frequently in order to moisten your eyes. This is especially important when working in offices with air conditioning or when the air in the office is dry during summer.
Exercise Your Eyes And Take Breaks
Around every 20 minutes, you should consider taking a short break from looking at your computer screen. During this break you can exercise your eyes by looking at different objects around the room and focusing on objects that are far away and then those very close to you before turning back to your screen.
Use Smart Air Conditioning
Smart air conditioning should be installed in offices. These devices are able to monitor temperature and humidity in the room. Adjusting the settings to have a good balance of the two maintains moisture levels in the air and helps to prevent dry eye syndrome.