• Because of the pandemic, many people are working from home
  • Having to look at a computer screen for prolonged periods of time can strain the eyes
  • There are simple ways to protect the eyes when using computers

Have your eyes been feeling strained lately? Staying in front of the computer all day is certainly not healthy for your eyes, but there are simple changes you can make to keep your eyes protected.

With more people working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has gotten harder for many of us to get our eyes the ample rest they need. As Johns Hopkins Medicine explained, we tend to blink more when we are meeting other people face to face. However, when looking at a screen, as many of us have had to do for almost a year now, we tend to blink less, reducing the comfort and lubrication of our eyes.

It's not exactly easy to completely remove screen time, especially if you use your phone and computer a lot for work. But with these simple tips, courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Healthline and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), you can make your screen time more eye-friendly.

Maintain A Safe Distance

According to the AAO, we tend to look at digital devices at "less than ideal" distances compared to when we look at printed materials. This is obviously problematic because it causes further strain on our eyes.

"The eyes actually have to work harder to see close up than far away," the AAO explained.

This is why you need to avoid being too close to the screen and instead sit at an arm's length away from the computer, perhaps 25 inches away. Keeping the screen in a position that would make the eyes look slightly downward also does wonders.

Take Breaks

This one isn't exactly a new tip, but it may really help you rest your eyes. Under the 20-20-20 rule, you should take a rest every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This simple break can actually help your eyes relax for a bit. Even if an object isn't exactly 20 feet away, what's important is to focus on something far away from you, Healthline said.

Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests setting a timer to remind you to take a break. If you have a little bit more time, you can even do some stretching or take a brief walk outside.

If you wear contact lenses, you may also experience even worse dryness symptoms, Healthline also said. What you can do is give your eyes a break by switching to eyeglasses once in a while.

Maintain Eye Moisture

As mentioned, staring too much at the screen can reduce eyes' lubrication. To remedy this, you can use artificial tears to provide your eyes with a little comfort, Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends.

According to the AAO, you may also place a desktop humidifier nearby especially in the winter, when heaters can also dry the eyes.

Adjust Lighting

Our eyes are forced to work harder if our screens are brighter than our surroundings, John Hopkins Medicine explained. To avoid this, you can match the screen's brightness to that of the brightness in your surrounding area, whether by adjusting the screen's or the room's brightness.

To reduce the glare, you may also choose to use a matte screen filter.

Clean Your Screen

According to Healthline, having a dirty screen may also cause the eyes to strain more in order to see properly. The remedy for this is quite simple: Keep your screen clean and free of debris or fingerprints.

If you continue having irritated eyes or other symptoms such as eye pain, however, you should immediately see an ophthalmologist.

Pictured: Representative image. Jan Vašek/Pixabay