Around this time 2 years ago, I was working day and night with my team to release a product. We used to sit more than 12 hours in front of a screen. The whole thing was quite exciting for us. But when you are young, you often neglect your health to seek thrill. Doing Hackathons was a hell of a thrill for sure, but we forget one thing: that working long hours staring at a display can harm our eyes, and it did. Two of us got prescription glasses within weeks. 🤓
It was a lesson learned the hard way.
When I first found out about my deteriorating eyesight, I started to freak out big time. I immediately started looking for information that would help me keep my eyes healthy. I made a few changes to my life and voila! My eyesight actually improved, and now I don’t even need to wear the glasses that often.
That was quite an eye-opening experience for me, pun slightly intended. So let me share with you what I learned. 🏃🏻♂️
This is generally the most overlooked factor, and that’s why I’m discussing this first. We all know how to adjust our screens according to our eyes so I’m gonna skip that, but if you still wanna know more about it, read here. The second and most important thing is the lighting. Try to position your screen in a manner that a window is either on your right or left to avoid that glare you get on screen. If you are using an artificial light source in your workspace, prefer over-head lighting. Don’t use extra bright lights that can put stress on your eyes. I personally prefer warm lights over white lights.
You might have heard of the golden 20–20–20 rule. It goes something like this.
“Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.”
It’s what your doctor might tell you to do. And yeah, it works… sorta. If you know how far 20 feet actually is, and you don’t find it too boring. But honestly, it doesn’t work for me and a lot of other people, I’m sure. I tried it and failed miserably. So here are some easy and fun exercises I personally follow and recommend that can be equally helpful.
Bounce the ball on the wall 🎾
As simple as it sounds. Just take a sponge ball (so that you don’t destroy your surrounding) and hit the wall. Try to focus on the ball while doing it. This will help your eyes move around and focus on different distances as the ball travels. It’s also very relaxing, almost meditative. You can also play darts 🎯 if you’d like. That helps too.
The water massage 💦
Whenever you go to the loo, just try and clean your eyes with cold water by splashing some on your face, and give your eyes a little massage. This will relax your eyes and remove any dryness that might have set in. Don’t try to massage your eyes without washing them with water first, as that can damage eyes. Give it a try and you will thank me.🙃
We techie can’t help talking about some apps. These apps will help you directly or indirectly to save your eyes.
Aware is a small menubar widget for mac that will show you how much time you’ve spent on your laptop without a break. So that you can be Aware, as the name suggests, and give your eyes (and your body!) a break every once in a while.
Awareness does more or less the same thing but it’s also available for Windows.
f.lux is a very popular software that reduces the blue light rays coming from your screen. It automatically adjusts the colors of your screen according to the time of the day. Too much blue light after sunset can alter your sleep cycle (by tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime) and increase eye problems too. flux fixes that for you. If you’re a designer who wants accurate color reproduction at all times, this might be a bit of a problem for you. but otherwise, it’s a great tool.
And this is a great time to shout out to fellow developers. If you guys have any ideas of an app to help eyes, I’m up for collaboration. DM me @twitter
My mother says what you eat is what you become. Well, that’s true in this case as well. There are some dietary changes you’ll need to make as well.
The most important thing is water. If you stay dehydrated for long, that can lead to eye dryness and that further leads to eye strain. Drink at least 2–3 liters of water every day and that will not only help your eyes but your whole body.
Including these following foods in your diet can also improve your eyesight, and you may also get rid of those spectacles like I did.
- Brussels sprouts
- Sunflower seeds
Other than this, try to include lots of green veggies and protein-rich food in your diet. This is tried and tested advice, and also worked really well for me.
Work is important, I get that. But smartphones are ruining our eyes, much more than computer screens in most cases. Staying in bed for hours staring at those tiny screens, it’s gotta stop. Like I’ve already mentioned, the blue light from your phones confuses your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, and that disturbs your sleep cycle. So use your phone only when necessary, especially during the night, and when you do, turn on some sort of blue light filter. Most new phones come with an inbuilt feature for this.
In the end, try to go for a monthly eye checkup if you can. It’ll give you an idea about whether these tweaks you’ve made to your lifestyle are working. Get those glasses changed if necessary; using the wrong power can further harm your eyesight. And even if/when your eyes are fully healed, make a habit of using Blue-cut glasses.
Your eyes are arguably your most important asset, and believe me, you can’t afford to lose them. Precaution is always better than the cure, and these tweaks won’t take much of your time but can help you massively in the long term.
If I missed something, feel free to share that in the comment section. If you liked my post, share it with your friends and help them save their eyes as well.
Btw I'm on Medium as well. Check it out here.