While the main goal is to maximize productivity and efficiency, integrating digital devices into workplaces and business operations comes with its own challenges — one of which is the risk of eye health problems. This risk is increased among employees who have switched to working remotely, as their total daily screen time (13 hours) exceeds that of their in-person counterparts (11 hours). More than two-thirds (68%) of these employees said that the increased screen use led to new vision issues, such as eye strain, forcing them to leave their shifts early and take more time off.
To prevent these vision problems from affecting work performance and daily life, there needs to be a better understanding of how screen use puts eye health at risk and what employees can do to lower these risks.
How screen use harms the eyes
Also known as computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain, the vision problems attributed to viewing computers or digital screens can range from frequent discomfort to blurred vision. The American Optometric Association explains that symptoms of CVS appear due to digital screens having higher visual demands than reading a printed page. The letters are usually less precise and defined on the screen, and this, coupled with the reduced contrast against the background and the presence of glare and reflections, can make the eyes work harder, especially if the individual already has uncorrected vision problems such as near-sightedness.
Digital screens, which feature in much of today’s technology, also emit blue light, which has shorter wavelengths and higher energy levels than other colors. This places additional demands on the balance between the eye’s pupillary size, accommodation, and convergence mechanisms, eventually leading to eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. Additionally, the susceptibility to CVS may not be specifically linked to the eyes but to postural problems. For instance, an unsuitable table or chair height can affect the viewing angles and distance from the screen, making it more challenging to focus and move the eyes than usual.
What remote and hybrid workers can do to protect their eye health?
Use blue-violet light eyewear
Since screen use can force the eyes to exceed their visual abilities just to filter the blue light from devices, eyewear designed for general use may not be adequate for these unique visual demands. As such, you can get clear glasses with lenses specially designed to block blue light, like lenses with BlueReflect technology, from the online retailer FramesDirect. These blue-violet light-filtering lenses can deflect 50% or more of blue light emitted by screens, reducing glare and allowing you to see more of what’s in front of you.
It must be noted that you can get this protective feature for all lens types, whether it’s single-vision, progressive, or non-prescription lenses. This allows individuals with varying vision needs to prevent eye strain, use screens with greater comfort, and protect their overall vision and health.
Pay attention to your working environment
Aside from taking regular screen breaks to rest your eyes, you should also maintain a comfortable and ergonomic working environment to avoid straining your eyes and staying in the same sitting position for long periods. For one, an adjustable desk or chair can help alleviate some physical discomfort in your neck, arms, and legs.
But you can also level up by investing in a monitor that’s designed with your eye health and overall well-being in mind. Among the leading technology brands, Samsung has display monitors with OLED technology, which is characterized by blue light filtering and flicker-free features. With less exposure to blue light and screen flicker, you can reduce eye strain, headaches, and poor sleep quality.
Adjusting your work environment to better accommodate screen-related visual tasks can also include installing an LED desk lamp or using dark mode for screen displays to reduce squinting. These changes may be small but can still make a huge difference in your eye health and by extension, your work productivity and performance. You can check out the rest of [Website Name] for more resources on employee health and wellbeing.