We currently live in a digital world. Many of us are staring at a screen for hours on end. With these modern advances comes eye strain and discomfort. How can we navigate a world of screens and still care for our eyes? This piece is all about eye care in the modern world.
What are some of the symptoms of eye strain?
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Neck and back pain
- Burning, dryness and eye irritation
- Sensitivity to light
Often, these blurred visions, headaches, and even neck or back pain are indicators of what specialists call Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), or Digital Eye Strain, which pertains to a scope of eye problems and discomfort associated mainly with sitting in front of a screen for prolonged periods.
Digital eye strain encompasses a range of ocular and visual symptoms, and estimates suggest its prevalence might be 50% or more among computer users.
If you feel like you're struggling with eye strain symptoms, you need not worry as your symptoms can be slightly improved by working on a few adjustments on your end.
What causes this eye strain?
Not blinking enough while staring at screen is one contributing factor, as blinking is required to keep the eyes moisturized and lubricated. The other big culprit here is blue light (400-500nm), which is harmful to the retina. Long durations of blue-light exposure can cause photochemical damage to the retina.
Light exposure is also the main factor involved in setting circadian rhythms. Melatonin is a hormone that is released in the evening and is involved in the physiology of sleep. Its release from the pineal gland. Exposure to blue light can disrupt melatonin production and impact sleep duration and sleep quality.
There are several things you can do to improve the state of your eyesight:
Manage your sugar/processed food intake.
The sugar level you have in your system plays a part in your eyes' health. Too much sugar in the bloodstream can lead to damages in the blood vessels of your retina. Swelling can occur in your arteries and may further lead to weakened vision. Therefore, keep processed foods and sugar at a minimum to support your eye health.
Practice the 20-20-20 rule.
When on screens, it's essential to look away from the screen and focus on a distal focal point throughout the day. An easy way to get your vision realigned is to incorporate the 20-20-20 rule in your daily routine. The 20-20-20 rule eases the strain caused by computer glare. The rule is quite easy and will save you trips to the doctor if put in practice regularly. Look away from the computer screen every 20 minutes and focus your sight 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Consume a nutrient-dense diet.
The best way to improve your eyesight naturally is to adapt to healthy eating. Consume high-healthy fats such as grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow, avocado, and olive oil. Eat healthy grass-fed/pasture-raised meats and wild-caught fish, bone broths, organ meats. Start incorporating colorful vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, red peppers, spinach, strawberries, and other citrus fruits to your daily meals. Avoid highly processed grains and vegetable oils.
Wear blue-light blocking glasses while on screens.
Researchers looked at sleep quality and melatonin in adults who wore blue-light shield or control eyewear two hours before sleep while using a portable (blue-light emitting) device and assessed visual quality for the two eyewear types. Overnight melatonin secretion was significantly higher after using the blue-light shield than with the control eyewear. Sleep efficacy and sleep latency were significantly superior for the group wearing blue-light blocking devices, and this group reported greater sleepiness during portable device use compared to those using the control eyewear. Participants rated the blue-light shield as providing acceptable visual quality.
What does this mean? Invest in some blue light blocking glasses (they even come in prescriptions and readers) and wear them for any time you are on a screen, particularly for two hours prior to sleeping.
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