Follow these guidelines for optimal eye health:
- Have a comprehensive eye test at least once every two years
The screening that you had when you renewed your driver’s licence doesn’t count because it would not have been comprehensive. During a comprehensive eye exam the optometrist will not only check for refractive errors, but will also check your eye pressure and must evaluate the internal and external health of your eyes. If you have a pair of spectacles, be sure to wear them when you are working on your digital device.
- Follow the 20/20 rule
The 20/20 rule requires you to take a 20 second micro-break every 20 minutes and blink your eyes 10-20 times. This triggers your Meibomian glands to secrete an oil-like substance called Meibom, a natural lubricant. If possible, quickly look out of a window at something that is at least 6 m away. If you cannot do this, place a mirror on the wall in front of you and look at a picture on the wall right behind you – this helps relax your eyes, and reduce strain.
- Screen height
Ensure that the top of the computer screen is at, or below, your eye level. Your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen. Try to position the monitor 55 cm from your eyes (roughly your arm’s length). If your screen is larger, add more viewing distance. A screen that is higher than your direct gaze will cause neck/back pain and headaches.
- Eye drops
We have a row of specialized glands in our upper and lower eyelids, called Meibomian glands. The incomplete closure of our eyelids during a blink, when doing prolonged hours of concentrated computer work, leads to insufficient Meibom secretion and this leads to dry eyes. So get a good preservative-free eye drop from your optometrist or pharmacist.
- Blue Blockers
Blue Blocker lenses aids with improved circadian sleep rhythms. The most recent studies have, however, shown that persons under the age of 18 actually requires the entire range of blue light in the visual system for their eyes to keep on developing normally and naturally. Enquire at your optometrist about a Blue Blocker coating for under 18’s.