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We’ve unplugged

For one day only, we’re shutting down our laptops, turning off our phones and shelving our office speakers. Yep, as of 3pm today, we’re pulling the plug on technology for 24 hours. Cyberspace – we out.

While our lives are becoming more productive, organised and exciting with new developments in the world of tech, our eyes are suffering as a result. We think it’s time to take a step back from our screens and reassess our digital dependence, so we’re spending tomorrow, from sun-up to sun-down, on a digital detox.

We appreciate that spending more than one day tech-free is a big ask, so we’ve predicted 5 issues you’re most likely to experience with regards to your eyes when you come back online, plus how to fix them.

‘My eyes are really dry’

Screens can make your eyes feel dry. When you’re using a computer, you often forget to blink. If you’re reading this from a computer now, try to think about how little you’re blinking in comparison to how much you would be if you were speaking to somebody. When you blink, your eyelid drags your tears up from your lower eyelid and up over your cornea. This hydrates your eye. It’s a really important function, and one that is comprised when you spend your day in front of a screen.

Fix this by:

Leaving a glass of water by your screen. Not only will this encourage you to drink and stay hydrated while you work, but some screens can radiate heat, so keeping a glass of water nearby while will help to moisten the air around you.

‘My vision is blurred’

If you are working at a screen the whole day, your muscles won’t be moving to their full capacity as they are simply focusing on the same short distance. As a result, at the end of the day you may find your distance vision is a little blurry.

Fix this by:

Doing some small eye exercises. Focus on the lines on your thumb and then focusing on something in the distance. Repeat this 5 times in quick succession, a few times a day. This will allow your eyes to wake up gently, rather than working them hard at a short distance constantly.

‘My eyes feel strained’

Strained eyes can occur if you’re focusing on your screen, then on a piece of paper next to your computer, then on your keyboard constantly. When this happens, it means your eyes are adjusting and refocusing from page to screen to keyboard to page and the muscles inside your eyes are relaxing and contracting repetitively, causing a strain.

Fix this by:

Making sure your room is well lit to avoid your eyes having to adjust to different lighting situations, such as a bright screen and dim papers. This will ease refocusing.

‘My eyes look more red than usual’

Using screens too often can cause your eyes to turn red, due to dryness. In these cases, your blood vessels will dilate to bring more oxygen to the eyes because the cornea isn’t getting enough from the tears.

Fix this by:

Using eye drops. You can get these from most opticians, chemists or supermarkets and you should use them (depending on your eyes) every hour or two. If you wear contact lenses, make sure they are contact lens friendly. Also, make sure you’re wearing contact lenses to suit you, with the right water and moisture content.

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

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