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Our lives are intrinsically tied to gadgets and the digital world. Hands up if you are one of those who can live without your wallet but not your smartphone for a day? The advantages of having the world at our fingertips come at a price one of which is poor eye health. Take it upon yourself to ensure your eyes stay healthy. Here are some tips on lifestyle changes you can undertake to protect your eyes.
Tip 1: Tweak your computer and smartphone settings
One of the main sources of concern is how the blue light is affecting our health and well-being. The Journal of Korean Medical Science found that “constant or excessive exposure to blue light can cause inadvertent retinal damage by oxidative stress.” Counteract this by limiting your screen time, especially just before bedtime. Go to the drop-down menu and switch on the blue light filter on your Android smartphone. For macs, click System Preferences, Displays, Night Shift and customise according to your usage.
For iPhone users, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters > Color Tint. While you are at Text Size, toggle to find an ideal font size so you won't need to squint again. And then, use the colour filter accessibility option to help filter out the blue and green colour spectrums from your iPhone display.
Tip 2: Eat your way to healthy eyes
Nothing beats having a balanced diet, but our lifestyles may not allow us to consume enough of the right nutrients from the food we eat. Fortify your peepers with nutrients like bilberry, zeaxanthin, ginkgo and lutein that are known to be good for the eyes. As these ingredients are fat-soluble, get the maximum benefit out of them by eating these supplements with foods that contain healthy fats such as olive oil, fatty fish or nuts.
Tip 3: Fit in a daily eye workout
Just as our bodies need rest and exercise, our eyes will similarly benefit from some physical activity as well. During your workday, make it a point to take breaks periodically and stare into the distance, preferably to look at the greens. Make it a habit to do some simple eye workouts you can engage in anywhere. Try these three methods.
(i) Shut your eyes
Squeeze your eyes tight and open them wide quickly, then repeat several times.
(ii) The eye roll
Sit up straight, look forward and keep your shoulders relaxed. Time to get your eyeballs rolling! Using your eyeballs only, look right and up, then look to the left and then down. Roll your eyes in a circular motion. Aim for 10 reps, twice a day. It should take you under a minute each time.
(iii) Palm eye exercise
Here’s how to reset your eyes. Cup your palms (make sure they are clean!) over the socket of your closed eyes for 30 seconds. Best if you rub your palms together to warm them beforehand. The heat in your hands will help the eye muscles to relax further. Repeat once or twice. Open your eyes slowly and blink as your eyes begin to refocus.
These eye workouts will strengthen and provide relief around your eye muscles. Aim to do them daily.
Tip 4: Pamper your eye area
The skin around our eye area is fragile and warrants extra attention. Make it a habit to use an anti-ageing eye cream daily, coupled with a hydrating eye patch two to three times a week for best results.
Tip 5: Ensure you have the ideal work station
Position your computer screen such that it is 20 to 24 inches away from your eyes. The screen centre should be around 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck. No standing desk? Simply use a box or a thick book to prop up your laptop to the ideal height. Also, be aware of reflective screens that may hurt your eyes. Draw the curtains to reduce glare or install an anti-glare lens on your smartphone or laptop.
Tip 6: Hydrate your eyes
Sometimes our eyes are crying out for some moisture, especially in air-conditioned places. Always bring along a cooling eye drop to counteract dry eyes. This one is compact enough to fit into the smallest of handbags; you will never have any excuse not to bring it everywhere you go.
Tip 7: Schedule annual eye exams
Can’t remember when was your last eye exam? Why not take an eye examination on your birthday month? In this way, you will never forget your eye appointment or any other essential check-ups you should be taking.
Tip 8: Shield the sun's rays with shades or hats
Make it a habit to wear sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of harmful UVA and UVB radiation. Get your favourite pair of shades or headgear at Farfetch’s designer sale, shop Mytheresa’s luxury sale or Ssense. Besides protecting your eyes, donning shades or hats also help in the prevention of fine lines around the eyes in the long run.
Tip 9: Get enough sleep
Have you experienced double vision and poor eyesight after you pulled a late-nighter? Inadequate sleep can bring about eye conditions like dry eyes, light sensitivity, itchiness, redness or blurred vision. It may also lead to even more severe eye issues if prolonged sleep deprivation occurs. Try drinking warm milk or chamomile tea before sleep. Still have difficulty falling asleep? Try these supplement remedies derived from natural herbs to lull you into dreamland.
The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek advice from a qualified healthcare provider on queries regarding a medical condition. Any action taken by you in reliance on or in connection with this content is solely at your own risk.