Over the past several months, I’ve had a epic battle with losing my vision. Earlier this year in the spring, I noticed I was having small amounts of eye strain after long periods of computer work. Then I would take it easy and limit screen time and eventually the eye strain would go away and I would return back to normal. However, over time, the eye strain would continue and eventually it would get so bad, I couldn’t even look at a television without feeling like my eyes were going to pop out of my head.
After a year+ of heavy screen use forced upon us by the pandemic, longer hours working, video games, binge watching television night after night, it’s no wonder my eyes had reached their breaking point.
Without my eyes, I was rendered virtually useless and so I wanted to share a few tips in this post that eventually helped my eyes get back on track.
I wasn’t given much choice on this one. My body forced me to give up screen time or else live with what seemed like endless headaches. So no more waking up and checking my phone for emails, Reddit, or Hacker news.
There is a nice side effect of this - I now have more free time and feel more present with the world. It’s been nice not always being “connected” with the internet. It only took my eyes bleeding to break me from this bad habit of always checking my phone.
It goes without saying that working in the dark with only light from the screen is not good over long periods of time. There are a few more factors than just turning on the lights that made a difference for me. Reducing screen glare can also alleviate your eyes of having to work extra hard to see what’s beyond the glare. This meant moving my screen so that I’m facing the sun or window.
Another tip that’s really helped me is having a light behind the screen. Similar to Bias Lighting, having light behind screens can help reduce perceived brightness. My desk faces a wall so I searched for “backlight” on Amazon and found a good set of LED lights that I installed on the back side of my monitor. I could feel the difference right away as my eyes felt more relaxed.
This is an obvious choice, but it’s important that you work with your eye doctor to get the right option for you. The first prescription I received didn’t last long and I was feeling eye strain almost a week after receiving my new pair of glasses. I went back to the doctor and had them re-checked. Sure enough, the prescription changed and had to wait another three weeks for a new pair.
This go around, I also decided to try progressive lenses that increase in strength when looking down like reading a book and decrease strength when looking up. They’re meant to accommodate natural use of the eyes. Unfortunately for me, my eyes dart around all the time on my big computer screen when sitting at the desk, I would look up and down the computer screen all the time so something was always out of focus. Back to the eye doctor again.
What finally worked for me are “Computer” glasses with my exact prescription. The computer glasses give me a 5 feet range of clear vision and is more suitable for my desk setup and how I work. Thank goodness the long battle with my eyes is over…for now.