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Prolonged visual activities, lack of sleep and any other activity that may require the eyes to maintain intense focus for a period of time, can result in eye fatigue or eye pain. Whatever the reason may be, if you are finding it difficult to keep your eyes open these days, your eyes must be tired and need rest. But rest is not always enough, you also need to follow some tips to rejuvenate your tired eyes.
Health Shots spoke to Dr Anita Sethi, Director, Ophthalmology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram about this matter.
She said, “Eye fatigue or tiredness is caused by the overuse of the eyes. This has increased especially in recent times due to Covid-19 restrictions; people have been home-bound and have had to work from home, take online classes and even spend their leisure time at home. This has markedly increased the screen time for all. More screen time leads to digital strain, dry eye symptoms and an increase in the power of the glasses in some cases.”
A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology suggests that myopia (A condition in which close objects appear clearly, but far ones don’t) has been a growing concern during the pandemic. This can result in eyes fatigue. To reduce the chances of risk, reduce the screen time whenever possible. Take calls instead of video calls, play board games instead of video games, read books, etc.
Take frequent breaks while working on the laptop or computer. Follow the 20:20:20 rule—every 20 minutes or so, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 metres away, for example, a tree outside, or a clock across the room. If nothing else, look away from the screen and just blink your eyes a few times.
Excessive bright ambient light or blue light coming from screens could lead to retinal cell issues, leading to pain and puffiness around the eyes. Dr Sethi said, “Use diffuse lighting while using the screens and reading. Remember, the darker the room, the smaller the screen, the more the strain on your eyes.”
Be conscious of your posture while reading or using the laptop. Keep the device at eye level, and don’t slouch or lean over the book while reading and writing. Lying down and using devices can increase the strain.
If you are using spectacles, please check the power regularly, especially for children. Anti-glare computer glasses are useful for those who have long hours in front of the screen due to office hours or school/college classes.
A balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for healthy eyes, especially for children. Dry eye disease is seen to be more common in certain deficiencies (Vitamin D) and in thyroid patients. Drinking plenty of fluids in hot summer conditions also keeps the eyes moist and healthy.
There is no special exercise for maintaining eye health! But keeping the body healthy by running, walking, cycling, yoga, etc will also improve eye circulation and health, strengthening your eyes muscles.
Try not to rub your eyes unnecessarily. Also, do not touch them with dirty hands. Always wash your hands and then touch. Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands can cause infection and bacteria to enter your eyes.
Do visit your doctor in case of frequent headaches, redness, burning of eyes, or blurring of vision. It’s better not to self-medicate, though one can use lubricating eye drops in case of mild dryness or irritation. It’s better to prevent and treat dry eye disease before it becomes a chronic irritant.
We are discovering a new list of signs and symptoms every day of the novel virus with its new variants. Eye pain is one of them. According to a study published in the journal BMJ Open Ophthalmology, sore eyes were the most significant indicator of Covid-19 with 16 percent of people reporting the issue as one of their Covid-19 symptoms.