The eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul but also your windows into the world and all the beauty it beholds. And so, taking good care of your eyes should be high on your list of priorities.
With increased access to and dependence on digital media and electronics, eye strain has become a huge concern for a lot of people. A study published in BMJ Open Ophthalmology in 2018 found that digital-device usage is leading to increasing amounts of digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome) in more than 50% users. Burning, irritation, blurring, tearing up and dry eyes are external symptoms of eye strain, while headaches and pain behind the eyes are internal symptoms of the same.
If you are facing any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor and inculcate the following five habits to reduce the strain on your eyes in the meantime.
1. Adjust the light: Whether you’re watching television, working on your computer or scrolling on your mobile phone, make sure to adjust the light. Reduced brightness and contrast will help as much as using shaded lights in the room instead of glaring ones. Dimming the lights of the room after work is also a good idea.
2. Take breaks: Take breaks from the screen after every 20 minutes or so. Look at something that’s about 20 feet away (like out of a window) for twenty seconds. This is also known as the 20-20 rule. When you can, shut your eyes for five minutes to give them enough rest to endure more screen time.
3. Get glasses: Consult an ophthalmologist and get glasses that can protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, excess glare, etc. You may or may not have power in your eyes, but getting the right glasses can reduce the strain on your eyes. Alternatively, you can also get anti-glare screen protectors for your devices.
4. Blink more: The more focused you are on the screen, the less you might blink. However, blinking is necessary to produce moisture in the eyes and to refresh them. So, make sure you blink more often while looking at a screen.
5. Tear up: Consult your ophthalmologist to get over-the-counter lubricating eye drops which you can use once or twice a day. Drinking enough water, eating a vitamin-rich diet and even placing sliced cucumbers on your closed eyelids can help lubricate your eyes.