William Shakespeare, a famous English writer, playwright, poet and actor, once wrote that “the eyes are the window to your soul.” So, if they are “the window," then we must keep that “window’ as healthy and clean as possible. With the advent of electronics and the ubiquitous use of tv screens, computers, cellphones, all kinds of screens watched constantly, our eyes suffer from this computer vision syndrome. Staring at these screens, without reasonable breaks or resting, can cause lots of problems on our eyes.
There are multiple symptoms of this emerging syndrome. Some of the most common are:
- Fatigued eyes
- Sensitivity to glare
- Dry eyes
- Headaches and red eyes
- ·Frequent blurred vision when seeing objects up-close or from afar
- Burning sensations in the eyes
- Redness in eyes
- Tearing excessively
So, short of just stopping cold from watching and/or reading information from screens, and giving your eyes a well-deserved long break, please consider following these practical tips for better eyes wellness:
- Proper Glasses—Use proper prescribed eye glasses or contact lenses, if necessary. Make sure to keep lenses clean and to practice good hygiene.
- Ergonomics Practice—Make sure to utilize the right chair and to keep proper posture, especially when using the keyboard. Position your monitor to prevent unnecessary eye movements.
- Glare, Glare Everywhere---Glare is one of the most common causes for eye fatigue and strain. Get rid of the glare! Increase the amount of natural light and decrease the brightness of artificial light. Your eyes will be much happier. Get a glare-reducing screen for your monitor. To assure effectiveness, get a screen approved by the American Optometric Association (AOA). That will help.
- Black and White Screen---Adjust the brightness/contrast controls on the computer monitors. Use a larger text display size (about 2 or 3 times larger than the smallest size you can read!) Staring at color screens all day long can take a toll on your eyes.
- Take a Break---Yes! Take a break. Move away from the screen. Times flies when working on a computer, in front of a monitor screen (for every ten minutes of work, make sure to look away from the screen for at least 10 seconds at something 10 feet away). Try placing a cold washcloth across your eyes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and just relax for a while.
- Stay Healthy---Practice regularly proper ocular health and science-based nutrition, along with routine exercise. Follow a good diet (with lots of multiple-colors vegetables, legumes, nuts, and lots of water). The United States National Institute of Health (USNIH) researches looked at the effectiveness of eye supplements on two studies done a few years ago. The Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2) looked at multivitamins and other nutrients and their ability to ward off cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The studies revealed that participants who took the antioxidants and other nutrients had a reduced risk of developing AMD by 25 percent, in addition to many other benefits on the eyes, and the whole body as a whole.
Some of the best nutrients identified are said to be:
- Vitamin A/Beta Carotene
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Alpha-Lipoid Acid
- Eyebright Herb
- Ginkgo Biloba Herb
Of course, consult your medical doctor or your licensed health practitioner before any medicated or nutrient-riched eye drops or pills are used.
So, please keep “your window to your soul” clean and healthy. Take a break from watching screens. Protect your precious eyes. You only have two. That’s it! Good gazing!