In 2019, there were around 26 million coders in the world, proof it’s a popular career venture: one that can affect computer vision and overall eyesight.
The long hours behind a screen can be taxing on your eyes so you must take preventative measures to protect your eyesight.
Sound familiar? If you’re a coder and aren’t sure how to protect your eyes, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.
Effects of Computer Vision Syndrome
Before discussing how to protect your eyes, it’s important to know the telltale signs of digital eye strain.
In fact, research found people blink significantly less when they’re concentrating on a digital screen which results in dry and irritated eyes.
This is because blinking keeps our eyes lubricated as it produces the tear film layer that protects our eyes. Another problem is eye fatigue, where muscles around the eyes get tired because of continued use. We can experience this as the light emitted from our computer screens makes our eyes tired.
How to Protect Your Eyes as a Coder
Now we understand the main ailments of prolonged computer use, it’s important to look at the solutions. Vision health is crucial so take these important steps to make coding enjoyable and safe.
Consider these, for example:
Check Your Lighting
Your workspace must be properly lit, not only for your mood but also your vision.
To maintain good eye health, work in natural light next to the window to prevent glare. If you’re still squinting, use blinds to reduce the shine.
If you use artificial lighting then choose over-head fixtures that emit a warm glow as bright lights can put pressure on your eyes. Or switch to floor or desk lamps and experiment with different bulb colors to see which is more comfortable.
Follow the Golden Rule
A fantastic way to prevent eye strain is following the 20/20/20 rule. This is where you take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
The idea behind this is to prevent your eyes from staying fixed on the same spot for an extended period. It’ll be difficult at the beginning to take breaks every 20 minutes so set an alarm to alert you.
Although it sounds like it’ll disrupt your workflow, your vision is crucial especially as a coder so it’s important to take these preventative measures.
Bounce a Ball
Another way to relax your eyes is to bounce a sponge ball against the wall.
Focus on the ball as you throw because it encourages your eyes to fix on different distances as the ball travels. Plus, it’s meditative which is always a plus!
Massage Your Eyes With Water
Whenever you go to the toilet, close your eyes and splash water over them. Not only is it refreshing but it relaxes your eyes and reduces any potential dryness. Once they’re damp, gently rub your eyelids in a circular motion and you’ll be ready for another coding session.
Prevent Blue Light Rays
When you’re coding, your screen emits blue light which scatters more than other colors. Because it’s unfocused, this can contribute to digital eye strain and fatigue.
Luckily, you can use f.lux, a popular software that reduces the blue light rays hurting your eyes when you code. It automatically adjusts the colors on your screen depending on the time of the day.
This is crucial because if you’re exposed to too much blue light after sunset then it can keep you awake and cause eye problems.
And another useful tool for coders is this alternative to Notepad ++ which you can check here: https://setapp.com/how-to/alternative-to-notepad++-for-mac.
Alter Brightness and Contrast
Another culprit of eye strain is the brightness of your screen. It’s important to get the optimal setting so it matches your surroundings.
To test this, make your background white and if it feels like a light source then it’s too bright. Also, the contrast should be at the perfect level so you don’t have to strain your eyes when you code.
As you code, drink two to three liters of water to prevent eye dryness. It’s also important to eat food that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E as they promote good eye health.
Load up on dark leafy greens, salmon, eggs, beans, and citrus fruits to ward off vision problems.
Put Down the Phone
It’s important to take breaks throughout the workday, so once you’ve finished a coding session leave your computer and smartphone behind.
Go for a walk, meet a friend for lunch, or do your daily exercise. Not only will these help your eyes but they also improve your mental and physical health.
Relax Your Eyes
Once you’ve finished your coding session, give your eyes some TLC so that you don’t develop computer vision syndrome. A fantastic home remedy for eye strain is to apply aloe vera gel onto your eyelids for 10 minutes. Aloe vera has natural soothing properties that reduce puffiness and boost blood circulation around the eye area.
Test Your Eyes
Coding relies heavily on good vision so regularly visit the optometrist to make sure you aren’t damaging your eyes. Many offer special coated lenses that decrease the reflection and block a majority of the blue light from your screen.
If you continue to suffer from dry eyes or eye strain, book an appointment with your doctor and they’ll give you tips on how to restore your vision.
That’s How to Protect Your Eyes
Now you know how to protect your eyes when you code from computer vision.
It’s important to reduce blue light emitted from your screen, find the optimal brightness, and take breaks to rest your eyes. After a hard day of coding, treat your eyes to a massage or an aloe vera rub. Good luck!
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