The College has issued the following advice to safeguard eye health and vision over the winter months:
- During the pandemic, you may have found that your screen time has increased as you stay indoors more. There is no evidence to suggest increased screen time damages your vision, however you may find it tiring to look at a monitor for long periods of time. To reduce eye strain, we suggest:
- Positioning your monitor so it’s roughly arms lengths away from your eyes
- Minimising any distracting reflections in your screen, e.g. windows
- Looking at something 20 ft away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes
- Blinking regularly. Focusing on a screen may make you blink less, which may make your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
- Many people will be working from home this winter, and lighting is very important for vision. If you have problems seeing in low light, we recommend sitting close to a window during the day if you need to see something clearly, like the text in a book or magazine.
- Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. Snow and ice are reﬂective, so the sun’s rays can reach your eyes from below as well as above. The low sun in winter can be particularly dazzling, so wear sunglasses on sunny winter days, particularly when driving.
- If you suffer from dry eyes, which may be exacerbated by central heating, lower the temperature in rooms when possible and open windows, even for a few minutes. You can also use a humidifier, or have a bowl of water near the radiator to help humidify the air. Your optometrist or pharmacist will also be able to advise you on suitable moisturising eye drops if you need them.
- There is evidence that encouraging children to spend time outdoors could reduce the onset of myopia (short sightedness) so do try made sure they have some time playing outside each day.