Look, I am a writer by profession. My working hours are spent looking at empty white screens waiting for inspiration. My entertainment hours are spent watching more screens as well. If I don’t take care of my eyes daily, I won’t survive this career or lifestyle.
People can spend thousands of dollars on dog care; the least you can do is follow these free tips to take care of your eyes.Here is what my experience has taught me.
Windows Night Light
Windows 10 released a night light option that allows users to change how muchblue wavelengths are a part of the screen’s color. Blue wavelengths are known to be harmful to the eyes and disrupt sleep patterns. Although Windows can schedule the night light at only the late hours, I keep my night light turned on all the time.
The reddish tint instead of the sharp blue does take some getting used to, but you do get used to it.
Eye Protection Setting on Mobiles
Similar to Windows’ night light, new smartphones have such settings too. My OPPO smartphone has it under Eye Protection Display which allows me to change how much blue wavelengths should be reduced. It does not have scheduling options to only use these settings at night. But honestly, these settings should always be turned on.
Not all Eyes are Equal
Eyecare is all about sensitivity. Some people will have relatively less or more sensitive eyes than you. So, any special care for your eyes will depend on your needs. If your eyes hurt while your colleagues with the same screen time are fine, do not be ashamed of taking breaks and some extra time to rest your eyes.
Font Type, Color, and Size
The font may not matter much if you are reading a short 5-minute article. But it matters a lot when you are working writing emails, reports, or programming for hours daily.
Some pre-installed fonts like Consolas in MS Word are more legible and cause less eye strain which I use. There are other fonts like Fira Code and Monoid that you can download for different applications.
For color, you want the most contrast. That means ditch the grey text on white background. Then, color works in tandem with size. Bigger font sizes and sharper contrastsreduce the eye strain significantly as your eye has to work and focus less.
MS word has handy toolbar optionsthat can quickly let you change the font type, color, and size oflarge segments of your content without having to select paragraphs and headings individually. These options can be found as the predefined templates for paragraphs, titles, and sub-headings. You can change these templates to legible fonts before starting and change them back to standard fonts after completing a document.
Dark Modes and Low Brightness
Another way to minimize blue wavelengths harming your eyes is to reduce brightness levels on screens. For mobiles, set the brightness on auto. It is competent enough to adjust with the room’s light level to the point that it is not too bright to hurt and not too dim to strain your eyes.
Dark modesminimize blue wavelengths, too, and are getting more popular. MS Word 2016 has a ‘Dark Grey’ theme, which helps the eyes. Newer versions of the Office have an official dark mode that makes the document page black by default. Godsend.
This dark mode can be found in most common apps and programs. Search whether an app that you use has a dark way and how to activate it.
Posture and Distance
Your eye should have to travel the least amount. The farther you are from the screen, the less your eyes have to physically move as you shift your focus from one part of the screen to the next. So stay at least an arm’s length away from your screen.
Secondly, your eye should be seeing smack dab in front of your face. Not up, not down. Adjust your posture, your seat height, your monitor height, or your laptop’s screen angle. Adjust these factors so that your screen is directly perpendicular to your line of sight.
Don’t let it Get Worse
Eye strain is common and affects people differently. If it starts to strain, get up and do something easy for a few minutes.
Wash your face with some water and cool your eyes. Walk and climb a few stairs to get better blood flow to your eyes. Use eye drops if your eyes feel too dry.
Let your eyes rest by blinking more or keeping them shut for a while when opportunities arrive. I, for example,can write paragraphs with my eyes closed and open them to make sure everything is correct.
These small steps can go a long way to ensure our eyes remain healthy for the years to come.