Work From Home Tips: Eye Health Maintenance as Advised by Dr Anup Rajadhyaksha
As society continues to live in the “new normal”, more people have been forced to spend more time at home and increase their screen time for work. That may result in an eye problem, and eye health experts are concerned about it. Dr. Anup Rajadhyaksha, Ophthalmologist and Medical Consultant for ENTOD International said that if the pandemic continues, more people will stay stuck on their tablets, televisions, and laptops. If left unresolved, this behaviour will negatively affect mental and physical well-being and the condition of the eyes.
Given all of this, what are the real effects of prolonged screen use? And how can we protect our eyes now that we are all at home and the time we spend on our devices increases?
What are the Visual Risks Associated with Excessive Screen Time?
The more you look at a screen, the more likely you are to develop vision problems. For example, dry eye syndrome is increasing, caused by decreased blinking when looking at a screen. In addition, Myopia (nearsightedness) is rising at an alarming rate which is also linked to the use of electronic devices.
Studies also have shown that LED displays used in computers and other digital devices emit a broad spectrum of light; a small part of high-energy visible light called “blue light.”. Certain blue light bands may be harmful to the retina of the eyes. One of the severe risks is “Computer vision syndrome” or eye fatigue as the eyes may experience difficulties shifting vision from near to far and properly integrating vision and motor skills.
Preventive Measures to Maintain Healthy Eyes by Dr. Anup Rajadhyaksha
Even if you may not be able to reduce the use of these digital devices, fortunately, you can help protect your eyes from the adverse effects of screen time with some simple lifestyle changes and eye health maintenance.
Eat a Balanced Diet
The best way to take care of your eye health is by eating a balanced diet. You need to get more nutrition from your diet than vitamin tablets. Based on research, vitamin A can be seen in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes that improve eye health. Fruits such as bananas, grapes, and mangos are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which tend to prevent eye diseases. And omega three, which is excellent to relieve dry eye syndrome, can be obtained from salmon and other cold-water fish.
Also, insufficient intake of antioxidants, alcohol or saturated fat intake can produce free radical reactions, damaging the macula in the middle part of the retina. A high-fat diet can also cause deposits to restrict arterial blood flow. Considering that the blood vessels supplying them are tiny, the eyes are susceptible to this.
Dr. Rajadhyaksha says that when using the screen, you need to practice new exercises and learn new techniques to get the most out of the screen. In this way, you can limit your computer time and focus on other tasks. Take regular breaks at work to make the most of your screen time. Close your eyes for a few seconds every 15 to 20 minutes, then relax and don’t look at the screen. Then massage the muscles around your eyes and wash your face every two hours. Don’t rub your eyes with your hands.
In addition, most experts recommend following the so-called 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, turn your attention to anything 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If possible, stay away from the computer, drink a glass of water, or go out for a few minutes.
Maintain Good Posture
Many may not realize posture is the first line of defence against eye strain. When sitting in front of the computer, make sure your wrists are slightly elevated instead of resting on the keyboard. Leaning on the keyboard causes tension in the back and shoulder muscles, restricting blood flow to the eyes.
Use the Right Eyewear
As explained by Dr Rajadhyaksha, special glasses can block High-energy Visible (HEV) light released by almost every optical screen. Blue light blocking lenses are usually dyed soft yellow, neutralizing blue light and reducing eye fatigue and possible damage.
Dr Rajadhyaksha added that anti-blue light lenses are usually necessary when using a tablet late at night or before bed. It’s because the blue light emitted by your laptop late at night can make falling asleep more difficult. In addition, working in neon lights or dark spaces is not a good idea. Although operating and reading in low light should not affect vision, it can cause eye fatigue.
Unplug from Technology
Once done for the day, unplug from technology. Rest or spend time with your family without any mobile phone or computer, be it parents, siblings, or pets. Spending time together will make you feel comfortable and give you a break from your computer and desk. Play an indoor game that keeps you busy.
Technology is the present and the future. By following these measures and advice, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your eyes clear and healthy for years to come. However, it is essential to schedule an annual inspection. Even though computer strain can be fixed, doctors can identify more severe problems in thorough tests or provide proposals to reduce the risk and symptoms of computer tension.
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