The presence of undiagnosed eye problems that come to light when the eyes are exposed to visually-demanding tasks is one reason some people develop eye symptoms on starting a new job.
Visually demanding tasks are activities that require intense focus, near work, or prolonged use of computers and other digital devices. Examples include writing, editing and proof-reading, graphic designing, programming, accounting, laboratory work, blogging, welding, and driving.
These tasks place more strain on the eyes and can bring to light existing eye problems that you weren’t aware of before starting them. This is because, sometimes, the eyes compensate for minor refractive errors, but as the intensity of visual work increases, their ability to do so decreases. An example is the case of a sales assistant who suddenly developed uncomfortable eye symptoms when she started blogging. On eye examination at the clinic, it was discovered that she had mild hyperopia (longsightedness).
That stated, visually demanding tasks can strain the eyes if you do not practice safe (digital) work habits. Here are ways you can reduce the strain:
- Take breaks to rest your eyes – Perform the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet (6 metres) away. Get up every hour and walk around.
- Increase the size of letters and objects — Go for larger prints and also increase the font size of your device so that you are not forced to bring your print material or screen closer to your eyes.
- Reduce glare – Adjust screen brightness and contrast to improve clarity and comfort. Also, place your screen away from light reflections (from the light in the room or the sun outside)
- Maintain good posture when working with print materials or on your digital devices – Sit up straight and look slightly down on your materials or screen. Sitting up will help avoid backache. Also, it is more comfortable to focus on objects that are slightly below your line of gaze. Looking at materials above your line of gaze increases the risks of headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and other symptoms associated with eye strain.
If you do all these and you still feel uncomfortable, get your eyes checked for eye problems that you may not be aware of.
Call 08057432289 to book an appointment to see the eye doctor or walk into our clinic at 121 Itire Road, Surulere, Lagos.