Essential Eye Health Tips for Digital Nomads

With the availability of so many ways to make money online and work remotely, the digital nomad lifestyle has officially gone mainstream. According to a report cited by Forbes, as of 2023, about 17.3 million Americans have taken the plunge, embracing the freedom to work from anywhere in the world! This modern way of living offers unprecedented flexibility and adventure, allowing individuals to explore new cities while maintaining their professional careers and growing their online businesses.

However, despite the appeal of exotic destinations and flexible schedules, digital nomads also face unique challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining optimal eye health. ESPECIALLY if you’re a surfer like me!

Since the age of 5, I’ve struggled with myopia (nearsightedness), which means I’ve been wearing glasses and contacts for most of my life. My prescription now is almost -12.00! Before my trip to Rote, Indonesia, I visited a retina specialist to make sure there were no retinal tears, as that is something individuals with high myopia are at risk for. I get my eyes checked professionally every year and caring for my eyes is of utmost importance!

Living as a digital nomad often entails spending extended hours out in the sun or in front of screens, whether it’s working on a laptop in a busy cafe or catching up on emails on a sunny beach. This constant exposure to UV rays and digital devices can lead to eye strain, fatigue, and other vision-related issues. To combat these challenges and preserve eye health while embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, here are a few essential tips to consider:

Wear sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors

The appeal of working from dreamy tropical locations is a hallmark of the digital nomad lifestyle. If you’re a remote worker who loves surfing, for example, you may be drawn to coastal places like Puerto Escondido in Mexico, Ericeira in Portugal, or Hawaii. While these places promise excellent opportunities to work and surf, digital nomads must also be mindful of sun exposure.

Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can pose significant risks to eye health, contributing to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions over the long term. To safeguard your vision, always wear UV-blocking sunglasses outdoors. Optometrists recommend sticking to sunglasses from reputable brands like Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer Ease, which are high quality and provide total UV protection. 

Combat eye strain with blue light glasses

I often spend countless hours staring at my phone, laptop, and screens that emit harmful blue light, editing documents, attending virtual meetings, or scrolling through social media. Blue light can disrupt sleep patterns, cause eye strain, and contribute to computer vision syndrome. To alleviate these symptoms, consider investing in blue light glasses. Research suggests that blue light-blocking glasses can improve sleep quality and reduce eye strain, making them beneficial for digital nomads.

Blue-violet light filtering glasses from LensCrafters feature a special lens treatment that helps block blue light from natural and digital sources. On their website, you can choose from an array of styles like the Ray-Ban RB6375 Optics or the Oakley Holbrook model. These glasses are available with prescription and non-prescription lenses, so your eyes can stay protected regardless of your vision correction needs. 

Take frequent screen breaks

While the digital nomad lifestyle offers a lot more freedom compared to the typical 9-5 job, it’s essential to prioritize regular screen breaks to rest your eyes and prevent fatigue. For this, optometrist Dr. Stacy Conway suggests practicing the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on an object 20 feet away from you. This simple yet effective habit gives your eye muscles a chance to relax, reducing eye strain and promoting better eye health. 

Personally, I’ll take breaks to take a walk and check the surf, or just get out in nature so I can have my eyes focus on things in the distance.

In addition to the 20-20-20 rule, you should also incorporate other eye care practices like spending time outdoors and limiting screen time before bed. Exposure to natural light has been linked to improved concentration and attention. On the other hand, avoiding screens at night ensures that you get a good night’s rest. 

Conclusion

Prioritizing eye health is essential for navigating the demands of remote work and travel, especially if you’re at risk like me. From protecting your eyes outdoors to investing in blue light glasses for screen-heavy workdays, proactive measures can make a significant difference in preserving your eye health as a digital nomad. 

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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Hi, I’m Danielle

My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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