It is inevitable that a transcriptionist’s job revolves around screens. Yes, a transcriptionist spends hours working at their computers converting audio files to text. Have you ever thought what this screen time does to their eyes? Well, excessive screen time can lead to a common condition called digital eye strain. Wondering what it’s all about? Well, it is a condition where your eyes become tired and weary due to the continual use of digital screens.
Let us discuss some of the tips a transcriptionist can follow to help reduce the eye strain associated with staring at computer screens for prolonged periods of time.
- Take regular breaks at work: Make it a point to take frequent breaks to ensure that you give some rest to your eyes. When your eyes are continuously glued to the screen transcribing medical reports for extended periods of time, it is important that you rest your eyes from time to time. Practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stop working and get up. Look at something that is at least 20 feet away and then blink your eyes 20 times.
- Keep your eyes lubricated: When you are totally into transcribing the audio files, you forget about what’s going on around you, so much so that you forget to blink. Try to consciously blink as much as possible. This will help keep your eyes moist and functioning optimally.
- Observe workstation ergonomics: Position your computer monitor correctly. Make sure to maintain the right distance from your monitor, to avoid eyestrain. The recommended viewing distance is at least 20 inches from your eyes. Also, make sure that your monitor is at a comfortable height so you don’t have to tilt your head up or down or lean forward to view the screen properly.
- Ensure proper lighting: When you settle down to transcribe the reports, make sure that the lighting is comfortable for your eyes. Check that the ceiling lights don’t reflect on the computer monitor. Use drapes or blinds to block bright light when facing a window. Also, adjust the brightness of your computer screen to match the lighting in your workspace. It should not be darker or lighter than the surrounding. Make the text size bigger. Struggling to read a smaller font could hurt your eyes and cause extra eyestrain. So, a bigger font is always better for your eyes.
- Schedule regular eye exams: A transcriptionist’s lifestyle places great demands on their eyes. Hence, it is strongly recommended that they get their eyes tested every year. They should also talk to their eye doctor about their screen time at work. They may give advice on the most recent anti-glare computer glasses designed to block the blue light and glare emitted from the computer screen.
The tips listed above are some of the measures a transcriptionist can take in reducing digital eye strain that may occur due to working at the computers for extended periods of time. Make a conscious effort to take mini-breaks, blink to moisten your eyes, observe proper ergonomics, and schedule an eye exam every year. This way, you can definitely avoid eye strain while completing your transcription tasks in a healthy and safe work environment.