Distance yourself from eye strain

Many of us are no strangers to staring at screens for hours on end at work. Having your work space be at home may only be increasing this amount of time—after all, it’s harder to get away and, with COVID-19, many of us are turning to recreational screen time to pass the time while social distancing.

More time can bring headaches—both figuratively and literally. That’s because looking at screens of any kind can cause eye strain. Here are some things you may want to try to help alleviate the stress on your peepers:

  1. Switch to dark mode! A lot of apps are supporting dark mode these days. Dark mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted from the screen and is great for working at night or in darker places. There is evidence that brains may work a little harder for interpreting the light text on the black background so it isn’t for everyone. Give it a try to see if it works for you.
  2. Blue light removing glasses. The glasses purchased online without a prescription (Oprah swears by the Peepers brand) or made by your optometrist to fit your prescription.
  3. Take a break! Get away from the screen and fill your coffee cup or take your dog for a walk.
  4. Look for alternate ways to do your work. Can some of your work be done without looking at a screen? Check with your manager to see if any books, documentation, or training materials can be provided to you for support in your role.
  5. Minimize glare. Move your workstation to an area where windows and lights will not hit your screens directly.
  6. A matte screen filter. If moving your work setup isn’t an option, look at purchasing a matte screen filter or anti-mglare surface protector for your screen.
  7. Upgrade your screens. Using a higher resolution on your screens can make it easier for your eyes to consume data rather than trying to interpret the material on the screen.
  8. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Set a timer to remind you.
  9. Zoom in on browsers and look at how to set custom text settings in applications. To zoom in quickly in a browser, hold down the “ctrl” and “shift” keys and then tap the “+” key until the size is readable.

Guest blogger: TDS Software Engineer Rachael Hanson who shared these tips with the TDS Women in Technology employee resource group.

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