Whether you are a student or an office employee, chances are you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. You’re probably aware of the dangers of staring at a screen for too long, but did you know that persistent eye strain can have serious effects on your health as well as your long-term vision?
Fortunately, there are lots of ways in which you can protect your eyes and ensure that they remain both comfortable and healthy for as long as possible.
If you are required to frequently use display screen equipment or computers as part of your job, you are entitled to either a vision screening test or a full eye examination. If the test reveals that you need glasses specifically for computer use, your employer is legally required to cover the costs of a basic frame and the prescribed visual lenses for you.
Of course, if you would like to choose designer frames or lenses that have additional benefits above and beyond the requirements for your work, you are more than welcome to do so. However, your employer does not have to pay for these – instead, you will be required to cover the additional costs yourself.
Please note that if your normal everyday glasses are sufficient for computer use, your employer does not have to make a financial contribution towards them. The obligation only applies if you require a different prescription or type of lens for computer use.
Tips for preventing eye strain
Position your computer screen slightly below your natural eye level – this is particularly important if you wear multifocal lenses.
Take regular breaks away from your computer (recommended by our Stratford optician Nasreen Munshi). Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look into the distance (around 20 feet) for 20 seconds. This allows your eye muscles to relax and prevents overstraining.
Adjust the brightness of your monitor display so it is approximately the same – neither lighter nor darker – than your surrounding workstation.
Stay hydrated and remember to blink more often. When working at a computer, people tend to blink only about one-third as much as normal, which can make your eyes even more tired and dry.
Make sure your vision prescription is up-to-date, and invest in an anti-glare coating for your lenses or even anti-fatigue lenses if necessary (recommended by our Stratford optician Qasim Rajan).
How can eyewear help you?
There are several different types of products available to guard against the effects of computer work and the associated eyestrain it can cause.
Zeiss Digital lenses are specifically designed to reduce the strain on your eyes that comes with constantly alternating between near and distance vision – for example, when you quickly glance at your phone to check the time or send a text, and then resume your original task. Repetition of this action can cause your eyes to tire quickly, so the ‘Digi’ lenses have an area at the bottom that magnify near objects, and a transition area within the lens to make changes between near and distance vision less taxing.
Zeiss Office lenses offer very large fields of vision from near to intermediate distances, which enable you to see and work at your best in any range of vision your job requires. The lenses are custom-manufactured to your specific requirements, using the measurement of the maximum distance you need to see on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. This in turn enables you to see clearly and sharply and stops any need to squint or strain your eyes.
BBGR EasyWork lenses work to reduce glare from a computer screen, whilst increasing contrast to make visual detection easier and more relaxed. This subsequently reduces visual stress and helps to relax your eyes, as well as correcting any minor visual defects you might be experiencing.
Blue light protection is often available in the form of a tint or coating which can be applied to your lenses. Blue light is emitted from devices like computers, laptops, television screens and smartphones and can have a detrimental effect on your eye health and vision over time; the protective coating stops these rays from reaching your eyes.
Essilor Anti-fatigue lenses have a specific correction section at the bottom part of the lens which allows your eyes to focus more easily. It is added to your current prescription and allows you to enjoy sharp and comfortable vision throughout the day, with no tiredness or strain. It is estimated that up to 60% of the population suffer from eye fatigue, from a variety of sources, but in wearer tests the Essilor anti-fatigue lenses reduced these occurrences by 50%.
So why not make an investment in your comfort and long term eye health by having your eyes examined and purchasing some eyewear that will help to reduce the strain on your eyes? You could even go one step further and choose some fashionable RayBan, Versace or Polo Ralph Lauren frames to ensure you always look great as well as feel great while you’re wearing them.
For more information about how you can look after your eye health, or to book an eye appointment with us at Eye Emporium, please give us a call on 0800 020 9209 or use our online application http://www.eye-emporium.com/book-an-eye-test/ .