Healthy Living

Lockdown can affect your eyes in particular

Lockdown can affect your eyes in particular

Ever since lockdown was pronounced, Prof. Dhingra, has got addicted to internet and TV for latest news and is not comfortable with his eyes. He develops eye strain, redness, and watering from the eyes, soon after he starts working on the computer or read newspaper. Doctors have diagnosed that he is suffering from Dry eye, as a part of computer vision syndrome (CVS). It does not make a sense to him, “if it is dry eye why the hell water keeps on flowing on my cheeks all the time? Even repeated splashing of water in the eyes does not give any relief from this so called dry eye, instead it worsens the condition. It has made my driving also restricted since watering occurs when I look ahead on the road. Constant eye strain and headache has made my life miserable”, he rues. Fortunately he has no cough, fever, breathing difficulty or pink eye, otherwise he may have been suspected to suffer from coronavirus.

What is dry eye?

In a normal eye there is a tear film in front of the cornea that lubricates, nourishes, and protects the eye from dust and other irritants. Spread by blinking (one every 5-6 seconds), it keep the surface of the eye optically clear and smooth, and also protect from infection.  This film has several layers of fluid viz. the lipid, or oil layer; the watery layer; and mucus layer and is not like ordinary water in its composition. All three layers of tears are necessary for proper lubrication. Persons with CVS have tears that are mostly water and evaporate quickly, providing little protection for the eye. This can result in dry, irritated and uncomfortable eyes. This excess production of water from the lachrymal gland in dry eyes results in watery eyes. Other symptoms of dry eye may include eye strain, headache, blurred vision, itchy eyes, red or burning eyes. 

What to do in cases of watery eyes due to CVS?

First thing is to stop or reduce the screen viewing time.  Artificial tears in the form of eye drops are the most common treatment in such cases. A humidified environment also helps in dry eye treatment by adding moisture to the air and by helping prevent the evaporation of tears. Frequent blinking to spread tears is helpful, and avoiding smoke, wind, air conditioner, heater

Screen viewing mania

Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods. Eye problems caused by computer use fall under the heading computer vision syndrome (CVS). Looking at screen constantly requires a lot of effort from your eye muscles. And to make things worse, unlike a book or piece of paper, the screen adds contrast, flicker, and glare. What's more, it is proven that we blink far less frequently when using a computer, which causes the eyes to dry out and blur your vision periodically.  Between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms.  

During curfew people are interned in their respective homes. Most of them are clueless to remain busy, remain glued to their TV, computer and mobile screens.  First thing is the strain and fatigue of the eyes. Also the increased time in front multiple screens leads to exposure to harmful high-energy blue light waves. It’s well known that overexposure to blue light suppresses melatonin release by the brain, which leads to disruption of normal sleep patterns. Added to extended screen viewing is unintended and excessive intake of junk foods. And poor sleep coupled with excessive eating in all age groups, along with various other factors, can cause obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid as well psychological conditions such as depression and attention deficit disorder. Cognitive imaging studies have found that spending too much screen time will lead less efficient information processing. The kids may have obesity, sleep problem emotional, social, and attention problems, depression,  bullying, poor academic results, violence, less reading time, consumerism, poor attention deficit,  poor relationship Create a screen-free night once a week or commit to unplugging one weekend a month. It could be good for everyone's physical and emotional health, as well as your family's relationships, between parents and children: children often report feeling unimportant and neglected when their parents look at their smart phones during meals or when playing together.

What is safe screen time?

Safe screen time for adults (above 16 years) is two hours per day in installments. 20-20-20 Rule is handy to remain comfortable i e break for 29 seconds, after every 20 minutes and look at 20 feet or infinity. But, these days we hardly follow it. The more we stare at a screen, our eyes get dry and the blinking rate gets lowered. That results in stress and strain in the eyes. More screen time means less physical activity and less exposure to green grass — the exposure to natural green colour soothes the eyes. 

When suffering from CVS, You may notice: Blurred vision, Double vision, Dry, red eyes, Eye irritation, red eyes, watery eyes, Difficulty in changing focus between far and near, Headaches, Neck or back pain, vertigo/ dizziness, backache, defective posture while standing or walking, Contact lens discomfort.

How to make it safer!

You can add a glare filter to your monitor to cut the glare. Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size until you find what’s best for you. Rearrange your desk. The best position for your monitor is slightly below eye level, about 20 to 28 inches away from your face.

  • Blinking is the eye’s way of getting the moisture it needs on its surface. Stick a note to remind you about blinking.
  • Take a break after every 20 minutes and gaze at an object, which is at least 20 feet away from you, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use computer eyeglasses. If you work on a computer for many hours on end.
  • Adjust the brightness of the screen. Your screen should not be brighter than your outside setting.
  • It has been observed the more we are watch news on corona, the more we become prone to anxiety and depression.  Meditation and yoga may help.

 

 

 

 

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