Focused work such as reading or using the computer for long hours will reduce our blink rate and take a toll on our eyes. Hence, it is always good to take a break from activities which involve prolonged staring.
One should try as much as possible to rest their eyes after every 30-40 minutes of near-vision work, which can be done by looking into the distance. Additionally, artificial tears can help reduce eye irritation, and help you work longer.
2. Work in well-lit areas
It is important for one to ensure that they work in spaces with sufficient and suitable lighting. Dim lights will not hurt your eyes but they can tire your eyes more quickly.
3. Avoid having reading materials or computers too close to your eyes
When reading and using computers, ensure that you maintain a comfortable distance away from your eyes. For reading, the ideal distance is to maintain approximately two third of an arm’s length away, whereas for computer usage, one should position the computer screen a few inches below eye level and approximately an arm’s length away.
4. Minimise glare
Glare is distracting, affects productivity and strains the eye. To minimize glare, one should ensure even illumination on reading materials, and the incident light should be angled that there will be no unwanted reflections. Also, if your computer screen happens to be too shiny and reflective, you may consider fitting your computer screen with a non-reflective frosted film or antiglare filter.
5. A good reading lamp is important
Investing in a good reading lamp is a paramount step towards successful eye care. This is because some reading lamps tend to be too bright or dim, thus affecting your ability to read and work efficiency respectively.
Ideally, a good lamp should provide ample lighting without being too bright or glaring. Additionally, the head of your reading lamp should be positioned above your line of vision and to the side to avoid direct glare.
6. Your sitting posture matters
Maintaining proper sitting postures while working is important as well. Refrain from slouching! Adapt a correct but comfortable sitting posture with the back straight & shoulder relaxed.
Exposure to natural sunlight triggers the release of dopamine in the retina, which in turn prevents excessive eye growth and myopia development. However, do remember to don sunglasses with UV protection to block your eyes from harmful ultraviolet and other rays that may cause the development of eye diseases like cataract and macular degeneration.
Choosing a well balanced diet is of paramount importance, as your eyes require essential vitamins that can only be found in certain foods. Here are some eye “candies” that you may want to start including in your diet starting today!
For one, carrots are rich in vitamin A, which the retina needs. Additionally, green leafy veggies like kale and spinach are good for the eyes because they contain lutein, which studies indicate can reverse symptoms of macular degeneration. Furthermore, getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and flax can help prevent dry eyes. But avoid omega-6 fatty acids – found in vegetable oils – as they counteract the good omega-3s.
9. Our eyes need SPF protection too
Sunglasses don’t just prevent us from squinting, but they also block harmful ultraviolet and other rays that can play a role in the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. When choosing your sunglasses, be sure that you choose a pair that has 100 percent UV protection. One should always wear sunglasses when outside, and especially in high glare areas, such as by the sea.
For children, they are recommended to undergo an eye exam before 5 years of age to check for childhood problems like amblyopia (“lazy eye”) or strabismus (misaligned eyes), and then on an as-needed basis (vision problems or injuries) up to 19 years of age.
Afterwhich, one examination should be done in your 20s, and two in your 30s, so as to identify problems which may benefit from early treatment. Serious eye problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration (deterioration of retina that causes loss of detail vision) can be treated if detected early.
Eye checks should be done every 2-4 years after one turns 40, and every 1-2years after turning 65. Anyone with diabetes or a family history of eye diseases should pay extra attention to their eye health and go for regular eye check ups, as early diagnosis would mean treatment can be started earlier for better effects.