Think about it — when was the last time you gave the health of your eyes any thought? I’ll confess I never thought, someday eye pain could have an unsettling impact on my productivity and my daily life. Staring at code on a screen or reading through your server's logs for most of the day isn’t quite natural for the human eye, and this is my body’s way of telling me to change my habits. If you are someone like me who won't rest until you fix that damn bug, I found some helpful ways to help me stay healthier and a few apps to make me relax my eyes more throughout the day.
Making sure that your work-space is properly lighted is important for your mood as well as your eyes. Try and work in natural light whenever possible, ideally with the window to your side instead of directly in front or behind you, and use blinds to reduce glare. I used to work in a somewhat low-light place without any natural light and it caused me constant headaches and eye pain. I'm glad those days are over.
For optimal comfort, your screen should be between 20–30 inches away from your eyes. Also, the top of your monitor should be at eye level. It will also help you prevent neck pain in the long run. If you're using your laptop as your main development computer, make sure you put it on a stand and push it a little away from you.
This will relax your eyes and remove any dryness that might have set in. I found this very useful since it makes me get up, get away from my desk, stretch a little and make my eyes feel rested.
I'm sure you've heard about this and this in fact is a helpful method to give your eyes a small break. The rule suggests that after every 20 minutes of using the computer, take at least 20 seconds to look at objects that are 20 feet away from you. Although, It's not always possible to find an object 20 feet away, I believe what it all comes down to is giving your eyes a break every once in a while.
So it’s a good idea to take breaks regularly, but when you’re in the thick of something it can be easy to forget. Happily, there are very good break reminders out there for you to use. Some offer notifications, some make a sound and some just prevent you from getting on with your work for a short time. Here are two free and open source break reminders:
Safe Eyes (Available For Linux)
This is my absolute favorite because I was looking for something more enforcing than just a notification or a sound. Check out their GitHub page for instructions on how to install it. There is instruction on every major Linux distribution.
Stretchly (Available For Linux/Mac/Windows)
Stretchly is a cross-platform electron app which is designed to be easy to use. Here's their GitHub page to check it out.
Hopefully this has helped you understand how easy (and important) it is to look after your eyes as part of your overall health. If you liked this post, please share it with others to help them stay healthier. If you have any other tips or ways that work for you, feel free to let me know in the comments section.
I am a full stack web developer and co-founder of Bits n Bytes Dev Team, a small group of highly talented and professional freelance developers, where we provide custom web application development services based on cutting-edge technologies, tailored to client's unique business needs.