Tips on how to protect your eyesight

Medical content revised by - Last revision 21/11/2016
Tips on how to protect your eyesight

A good visual hygiene is essential, although it is not true that reading can damage your vision. Eyes are made to see, in the same way that teeth are made for chewing or lungs, for breathing. But that does not mean we should not follow some rules in order to take care of our vision.  Keeping a safe distance at work and a proper position, being surrounded by suitable furniture and an appropriate lighting… These are some of the key points to observe which will allow us to study more and in better conditions.

Hygiene standards focus mainly on posture and ergonomic aspects that allow us to minimize the pressure of visual needs, for example, working distances, lights or object/background contrasts.

Visual hygiene

Tips for a proper visual hygiene in the office or when studying:

  • The study room should be well ventilated and the temperature should not be high.
  • We need light on the ceiling and an additional light focused on the working area but not directed towards the eyes. It is also important to make sure it does not dazzle and does not overshadow when writing. The room should never be in the dark.
  • The reading or writing text should be placed on an inclined angle of between 20 and 30 degrees from the table or desk.
  • The working desk should be located in front of an open space, preferably, when possible, in front of a window, since this position allows us to look away from time to time.
  • You should sit correctly with a straight back and our feet on the ground.
  • It is important to have an appropriate furniture: the chair height should be adjustable in order to adapt it to the table and to your own height.
  • The ideal reading distance is approximately from the elbow to the first phalanx, and the forearms should be resting on the work area when reading.
  • When reading, following the lines by moving your head and not your eyes can be a sign of a visual problem. Reading should always be done through eye movements.
  • A long near vision activity should be interrupted from time to time by raising your head or changing your position in order to avoid eyestrain. Make a 2-minute break every 30 minutes when performing a near vision task.
  • Avoid contact lenses when studying and working on the computer for long periods of time. These are situations with a low-frequency blink and, ultimately, this can lead to an intolerance to contact lenses. Eventually, it may also increase dryness and discomfort.

Visual recommendationsºGeneral recommendations for other daily activities:

The following indications will help you to keep a good visual hygiene:

  • Try to avoid glare on the television screen; it should not be watched with the lights off in the room, not too close to the screen or lying on the floor.
  • Your diet should be rich in vitamin A.
  • It is important that your hair does not cover your eyes.
  • Visual correction means (glasses or contact lenses) with a proper correction must be used appropriately for each daily activity.

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