Eye Care Tips from Eye Specialists
Working from home has become the new norm for everyone in these unprecedented times. There are some great changes that came out of this situation – no more jostling for seats on public transport during rush hour – you can simply work in the comforts of your own home.
But you may have also noticed some other not-so-great changes. Perhaps you’re less productive at home, or the blurring of boundaries between work and home is taking a toll on your health and eyes.
While you continue to work from home during Phase Two, we share some easy eye care tips from our eye specialist to help your eyes feel better.
Use appropriate lenses with the right prescription
Find yourself squinting to read the faraway signboard? Maybe it’s time to get a new pair of glasses. Prolonged squinting causes strain and discomfort to your eyes.
For children, squinting because the child is not wearing the correct prescription and is not seeing well has far more drastic effects. It may impair their eyesight and lead to lazy eyes (amblyopia) where the child is never able to see well. Prolonged near activity may also affect the growth of their eyeballs, leading to myopia (near sightedness) and its progression.
Wearing contact lenses? It’s vital to get the right fit. There are many types of contact lenses: soft lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, and hybrid lenses.
For flexible and more comfortable wear, opt for soft lenses. To correct vision problems, choose rigid gas permeable lenses.
Everyone’s eyes are different. To achieve the best results for your eyes, consult your eye specialist for advice before choosing your contact lenses.
Take breaks in between work: Look up and look far
When your home becomes your office, it can feel like you’re always at work. Schedule breaks to relieve some stress off your eyes and relax at the same time. The 20-20-20 rule will help. After every 20 minutes of work, look at objects that are 20 feet (6m) away for 20 seconds.
As we shift to our work-from-home setup and become increasingly reliant on digital devices, it seems more impossible than ever to cut down our average daily screen time. To reduce eye strain when you’re on your digital devices, be mindful of the placement of your devices. The best angle is when the top of your screen lies slightly below eye level and is tilted a little upwards.
Reduce excessive near activity and spend more time outdoors
Prolonged near activities has been found to be associated with myopia (near sightedness) and its progression. Singapore has the highest prevalence of myopia in Asia. In Singapore, 20% of children are myopic at 7 years of age, at the start of primary education, with prevalence exceeding 70% upon completing college. Ten percent of Singaporeans high myopia (more than -6.0 dioptres).
The development of myopia and its progression is higher in the early years of life up till the eye reaches maturity at about 18 to 21 years of age. Spending more time outdoors instead of prolonged near activities have been shown to reduce the progression of myopia. It is good to reduce near activities such as playing games or browsing the internet on smartphones and tablets. Therefore outdoor activities, exercises and games is not only beneficial to the eye, it also has other health benefits, like improving one’s health and wellbeing, as well as helping to reduce the risk of medical conditions.
Wear glasses with UV protection
A good pair of sunglasses isn’t just a stylish accessory – it protects your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation and provides optimal vision under bright sunlight.
UV rays damage the cells in our eyes which may contribute to the following eye diseases: cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the eyes).
UV protection isn’t just limited to sunglasses. Clear glasses should also be equipped with effective UV protection to absorb harmful radiation and protect your eyes.
Have good lighting in your workspace
As you age, your eyes need more light to see better. For example, your eyes need 2 times as much light when you’re 60 as they did when you were 20.
Keep your windows clean and pull back your curtains to increase daylight in your home.
For reading or close work, use a direct light from a table lamp. The lamp should be properly positioned so the light is not reflected and causing glare.
Take a nap
Our weather gets unbearably hot at times, and it’s hard to resist dozing off in the heat, especially after a heavy lunch. Combat afternoon fatigue with a mid-afternoon nap. While sleeping, your eyes are continuously lubricated. Irritants, such as smoke and dust, are cleared out.
Try to elevate your head when you sleep as this reduces the bags and circles under your eyes due to improved blood flow. Never underestimate your sleeping position as we spend almost a third of our day snoozing. If you want to be free from eyebags and dark circles, you need to clock at least eight to nine hours of sleep.
Go for regular eye screening
Some Singaporeans might not be aware of the importance of regular eye screening. Having an eye screening will not just tell you if you need a change of prescription or new glasses – it’s also an important eye health check.
An eye specialist can detect many general health problems before you’re even aware of any symptoms. They can also spot early signs of eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration. These problems can be treated if found early enough.
People who are older than 40 should have annual eye exams because their risk for eye diseases rises dramatically.
When was the last time you had an eye screening? Book an appointment today at Lang Eye Centre. We are committed to providing high-quality eye care to help patients get the best outcomes for their eye condition.