Preventing EYE STRAINS

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Preventing EYE STRAINS


In 2020,when  Covid-19 was taking its too,  Navin Sharma like many others, working from home on his computer screen, felt irritation in his eyes. Initially, it was a mild irritation.  But eventually, Sharma felt like something had poked his eyes. After continuously rinsing and rubbing his eyes for weeks, which were of no relief, Sharma visited Tilganga Eye Hospital at Tilganga. Dr Eli Pradhan examined Sharma, and after a round of eye and retina scans, she concluded that Sharma had dry eyes -- a common medical issue among most corporate and bank employees.  

According to doctors, dry eyes could be a simple dry feeling to a severely debilitating condition that can affect the work performance of any individual.

Many people in the corporate world spend a significant period of time at the desk with computers screens which eventually causes dryness of the eye, says Dr Pradhan.

It is caused by constantly looking at the computer screen for longer period without blinking. Such activity leads to drying of the tear film. As a result, eyes get irritated, painful and itchy with constant watering, leading to blurred vision. This can also cause severe redness of the eyes and, if not treated on time, can lead to damage to the cornea (front part of the eye), according to Dr Pradhan.

There is no specific age group that tends to suffer more from dry eyes, but people working with computers have faced this problem. The working-age group is the most affected one. However, others who are working on the computer with poor lighting and bad body posture are also equally affected.

Doctors are of opinion that the use of computers and gadgets are interlinked with dry eye issues. In the corporate sector, the use of computers and laptops is mandatory. It eventually causes the problems like severe dry eyes, strain, and headache with pain in the eyeballs.

One of the causes for dry eyes is less blinking of eyes with constant staring at the screen. Poor positioning of the computer, if it is placed higher to our body, eyes will be widened, leading to drying. It also leads to neck and back strain, shares Dr Pradhan.

Dr Pradhan further adds that the harmful effect of blue lights emitted from the screen also affects the eye with dryness. However, newer technology has the remedy to reduce the harmful effect of the rays, she addes.

Although the instant effect of having dry eyes is not very critical, long-term effects can be harmful to both vision and the work. If there is a situation of severely dry eyes, it leads the employee to take long leave from the work. It will eventually affect the workforce and the outcome of the work, Dr Pradhan adds.

Apart from dry eyes, corporate personnel are also affected by Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS is not a specific problem but includes a wide range of eye strain and discomfort. The study shows 50 to 90 percent of individuals who work with computers can suffer from CVS.

Symptoms of CVS ranges from blurriness, dryness, irritation, headache to neck and back pain. Dr Pradhan shares that professionals with constant use of computers, and gadgets will experience difficulty in seeing and reading in bright as well as in reduced lights.

The glare from the screen makes things worse. Constant sitting in the same posture for a longer period may lead to backache and neck pain.  Individuals might feel more strain in the eyes in bright sunlight, overhead lighting, or with headlights during driving, causing irritability and sleepiness, she adds.

Similarly, ophthalmologists also share that ageing office-goers are vulnerable to cataracts and macular degeneration. However, we do encounter such situations in cases of the slightly elderly population which could be more age-related but added up by constant eye strain and prolonged exposure to blue light from the screen of the electronic devices, shares Dr Pradhan.

Besides, individuals working outdoors continuously with prolonged exposure to sunlight without proper eye protection are exposed to cataracts and macular degeneration.

These issues often lead to a lack of interest in the workplace, with employees taking longer breaks or calling off sick.

There is no specific data to gauge growth rate of these eye issues. However, as daily work and desk work are dependent on the digital world with computers and different gadgets, it will be safe to say that eye problems have risen tremendously. Patients seeking eye check-up constitute those complaining of dry eyes, eye strain, and double vision owing to the constant use of computers, say doctors.  

Most people from the corporate world visit eye hospitals with dry eye symptoms. Ophthalmologists generally advise them to use lubricating eye drops at regular intervals, easily available over the pharmacies.

Besides, doctors recommend the use of Blue ray cut glasses -- a specific type of glasses -- to prevent harmful rays. However, Dr Pradhan suggests for a regular eye examination before starting any intervention.

Professionals should go eye check-up to correct any refractive corrections at least once a year. It can also accentuate dry eyes and eye strain, she adds.

There is no complete remedy for it. However, dry eye medications and specific glasses that need to be dispensed by eye care professionals are available, shares Dr Pradhan.

Meanwhile, she also shares that simple changes in the workspace can improve symptoms and prevent new problems.

Glare from the sunlight into the screen can be a nuisance to the vision causing eye strain. Therefore, the workplace should have computers away from reflecting sunlight. Use of sunglasses while working outdoors, adjusting the brightness of the screen, adjusting angulation of the screen, and adding glare filter to the monitor can also help to prevent eye issues, she shares.

Likewise, a simple rearrangement of the office desk can also help prevent eye issues. The positioning of the desk should allow working people to see the computer screen without stretching their necks or straining their eyes. The best position for the monitor is slightly below eye level, about 20 to 28 inches away from the face. This will keep eyelids slightly at the lower level causing less evaporation of tear film from the eyes.

Similarly, giving our eyes a regular break is also important. Pradhan recommends following the 20-20-20 rule. Look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of screen time. Try to blink often to keep your eyes moist. This will help to refocus and reduce the stress level. Besides, it is always advisable to keep eyes closed for some time to refresh as well as to get a brief walk around to relax, says Dr Pradhan.

In the meantime, doctors also suggest for regular eye check-ups. Ophthalmologists suggest that there could be some underlying eye conditions causing blurred vision which reduces work efficiency. So they advise regular eye tests and keep eyeglass prescriptions up to date.

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