Many Kenyans spend various hours every day holed up in their homes working away on their computers. Regardless of whether you are a transcriber, virtual assistant, or copywriter, you need to be aware of how the computer screen affects your eyes. The eyes, regular power, reliable internet, and quality computer are the greatest assets of freelancers. Taking good care of your eyes and computer is your responsibility. You have to understand the proper way to use your eyes while working without exposing them to dangers from the computer screen.
Effect of the computer screen on the eyes
Reading texts on a digital screen is different from reading printed pages. The letters are not defined the same as those on the computer screen. There is obviously less contrast between typed words and the background. The screen is prone to glare and reflections making the eyes to work harder. Distance between the eye and screen is different compared to the way you read a book. The eyes require more focusing and movement. Minor vision issues might have a significant impact on your comfort when looking at a computer screen.
Signs that tell, you have computer vision syndrome
Spending long hours looking at a computer screen without breaks might expose you to various issues. If you find yourself experiencing the following, it is time to take care of your eyes.
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Watering eyes
- Neck or back pain
- Difficulty focusing
Steps to protect your eyes
See an optician
Book an eye test with the best opticians in Nairobi immediately you notice issues with your vision. Luckily, you can book your test online from the optician’s website. The eye exam is very important to allow appropriate prescription of the right lenses to correct your vision. It is very important to book an eye test and to avoid Googling for remedies. DIY prescription and not getting appropriate assistance for vision problems while freelancing might worsen the symptoms.
Change your posture
Adjust the monitor to face eye level to support the eyes from working much harder when working for longer periods. When working on a laptop, invest in a stand and back it up with an auxiliary keyboard and mouse placed at desk height. Keep the distance between the screen and your eyes to be about 30 inches. This is about twice your forearm length.
The distance limits eyestrain and prevents the intensity of light emitted from the screen. Avoid working in a direct light source and tilt the screen at a right angle. You should also consider investing in an antiglare screen. With these tips, working away on your computer will make the computer screen gentler on the eyes.
Learn new vision habits
Perhaps you have heard about the 20-20-20 rule somewhere. Always remember to let your eyes refocus and rest at regular intervals. This requires taking your eyes off the screen every 20 minutes. Focus on something about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Do this about three times when working on the computer for about an hour. Natural hydration of the eyes is very important and this requires blinking as much as possible.
Mind your diet
Freelancers have a habit of snacking away the day. However, this is not good for your eyes. Switch from snacks to an antioxidant heavy diet for the production of tears. These help to keep the eyes hydrated. Foods rich in antioxidants include:
- Red cabbage
- Dark chocolate
- Leafy greens
Although you might not find yourself sweating when working on your computer, the routine is hydrating. Drink plenty of water for various health reasons. This is very important especially during the drier months of the year. Keeping well-hydrated limits your eyes from becoming dry and irritating as you handle your tasks for the day.
Other eye issues from the computer screen
The average Kenyan freelancer spends more than 10 hours on the computer in the high season. Keep in mind that you also stare at your smartphone screen when taking a break from the computer screen. All these situations expose your eyes to the digital screen. This too much screen exposure causes computer vision syndrome. This exposes you to vision problems resulting from staring at the computer for a long period regularly. You are less likely to blink, as you should limit your eyes from getting adequate lubrication. You are likely to experience various issues when you notice problems but fail to fix them.
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Now that you are aware of how staring too long on a computer screen might harm your eyes, it is high time you took steps to protect your eyes. Since eyes are one of the freelancer’s most valuable assets, you should book an eye test before issues worsen. The optician will prescribe the most appropriate lenses to enhance your sight and protect your eyes.
Courtney is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. Her content is published on many national and international publications. She loves to write about Education, Business and Arts.