Do you often find yourself sitting in front of your computer screens most of the time, or a quick break is synonymous to scrolling through your phone and having a cup of coffee? If the answer is yes, welcome to the work from home scenario.
And does this result in dry and itchy eyes? Don’t blame it on the computer screens. It’s you who is at fault. How, you ask? Experts say focusing on your gadgets for a long time reduces your blinking ability, which in return puts extra stress on your eyes, making them feel exhausted and dry.
On World Sight Day, Dr. Sameer Kaushal, Senior Consultant & Head (Ophthalmology), Artemis Hospitals Gurugram, tells you how one can take care of their eyes. “Preventive care of eyes can be divided into 2 broad areas. The first is prevention of any eye injury, disease or any damage from external agents. The second is early detection of common eye diseases allowing for timely treatment and vision loss,” says Kaushal.
The prevention of eye injury includes:
Use of safety glasses made of polycarbonate lenses and with side shields should be mandatory during any activity which can involve exposure to flying particles. “This may include drilling, grinding, chiseling, etc. Other common sources of eye injuries include firecrackers and projectile toys (like toy guns, darts, bow-arrow, etc). The use of these should be restricted to specific ages and with adequate eye protection,” explains Kaushal.
Protective glasses should also be used while handling hazardous chemicals whether in factories, laboratories (including school chemistry labs), while using household chemicals, etc. “A common source of chemical injury in the Indian scenario is the use of toxic Holi colours,” he says.
Another source of eye injury is strong UV radiation. A common source is a welding arc which if seen directly without any protection can lead to severe pain and damage. Hence, protective gear is a must here, too.
Another common source is solar eclipse. Watching a solar eclipse (even a full one) without adequate protection can lead to damage to the retina and should be avoided.
A relatively new source of UV radiation in COVID-19 era is the use of UV sterilisers. Excessive direct exposure to the UV lamps can also damage eyes. These should be used with caution avoiding direct exposure to the UV lamp. “Laser pointers should never be directed at anybody’s eyes. Even though they are low powered, direct and prolonged exposure can damage the retina,” opines Kaushal.
Screen exposure – Contrary to popular belief, the LED screens commonly used in all gadgets are not a source of any damaging radiation. The tiredness, discomfort, grittiness and redness associated with prolonged screen time is due to reduced blinking and the associated dryness of eyes. This complex of symptoms called Computer Vision Syndrome can be avoided by ensuring adequate and appropriate breaks during use of these gadgets.
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