Top tips from our expert Boots optometrists to help you avoid eye strain & dry eyes

Are you now working from home? Whether that be in a smart home office (very nice) or from a kitchen table (with a child or two providing a welcome distraction), you’re probably spending more time in front of a screen.

From board meetings to water cooler conversations, our daily catch-ups are now taking place via video link. With such a change in working habits, it’s really important that you consider what impact that’s having on your eyes – and what you can do about it.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule

Looking at the faces and expressions of colleagues on a screen (or those of a family member or friend who you're now keeping in touch with digitally) probably means we’re now focusing at a much closer range than we’re used to. That’s not great news for our eyes, so it’s important to take regular breaks and allow our eyes to relax.

Apply the 20-20-20 rule. The what? Simply look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes – that will help give your eye muscles a break. Keep paper documents at the same range as your screen too (no closer than 40cm to your eyes). Actually, the further away, the better!

Beware of glare

The glare from our screens and the lighting in our new home offices can affect eye health. Lighting should be set at a level that allows paper documents and screens to be easily read. Use an anti-glare screen on your monitor if you have one. If you don’t, try to close the blinds or curtains on any windows reflected on your screen. And remember to take those regular breaks. It may sound odd, but try to blink regularly and if you're affected by dry eyes, lubricating drops can help to relieve discomfort.