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Four tips to keep your eyes healthy at home

April 2020
A pair of glasses, a pen and a computer on a desk.
Image © Trent Erwin/Unsplash

As many people get used to working at home, we’ve compiled some useful and simple tips to help you to protect your eyesight and make this period as comfortable as possible.

Many of us have now found ourselves unexpectedly working from home for the foreseeable future, or quite simply just spending a lot more time there. Without realising it you may be putting more strain on your eyes than you usually do, especially if at a computer all day. Here are some tips to help keep your eyes healthy and happy:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

It may sound obvious but looking after your health generally is not just good for your overall wellbeing but can also contribute to your eye health. This isn’t always easy to do when you’re stuck inside, but even just taking regular breaks, walking around or doing some stretching can add up across the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthily.

Eat a nutritious diet

There are lots of vitamins out there that are good for the eyes. These store cupboard staples, which can often easily be found tinned or packaged to last, are all packed full of good nutrients for vision:

  • Nuts, legumes and seeds – These are a good source of omega 3. They are also high in vitamin E which can protect eyes from free radical damage to keep them healthy.
  • Tinned tomatoes – Tomatoes can help protect the eyes from light damage and are also super versatile for cooking. They are a rich source of lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene. These are powerful antioxidants that have been shown to protect the eyes against light-induced damage, the development of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Tinned salmon or sardines – Research shows that eating omega-3 fatty acids, which are most commonly found in oily fish such as tinned salmon and sardines, can help prevent the onset AMD, a condition that leads to the gradual loss of vision.

Correctly set up your workplace

With a new office environment to work in, there are some things you can do to make it that little bit more pleasant:

  • Place your laptop monitor slightly below eye level (around 10%). You can use any old household items, such as books or boxes, to get it to the right level.
  • Reduce glare by avoiding placing your screen in front of a window and not having your lights too bright.
  • However, you should try and ensure you get some natural sunlight in your working area if possible, such as sitting in a window-lit room.
  • Adjust your screen settings, such as brightness or font size, to what feels most comfortable for you.

Limit your screen time

Working closely on a screen for long periods of time can really take its toll on your eyes. Try taking frequent breaks from looking at your screen: we recommend at least two to three minutes every half an hour.

Are you jumping between your laptop, phone and TV? We all need to do whatever it takes to get us through the day, but it can help your eyes to be mindful of how much of your day is spent looking at any kind of screen. This is especially true for children who may not realise the effect it can have.

A boy covers one eye with his hand during an eye test.

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