Protect Your Precious Eyes
Always spending long hours in front of your electronic devices? Let’s not take our eyesight for granted!
Our eyes are one of the most important sense organs which allow us to witness the beauty of the universe. On top of that, we greatly rely on them to fulfill our daily tasks.
Most of us subconsciously spend more than half of our day looking at electronic devices, be it for work or entertainment purposes. With more time spent indoors nowadays, we have turned towards our electronic devices to watch dramas or movies, playing video games, and surfing the web as our primary source of entertainment at home.
In 2020, the Department of Statistics Malaysia revealed results from a survey which notes that 89.6% of Malaysians are using the internet, followed by 80% using a computer and 98.2% are using their mobile phones daily.
While technology and electronic devices have undeniably become an important integration in our daily lives, increased digital screen time may cause eye discomforts and vision problems as we are constantly exposed to harmful blue light transmitted by electronic devices.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the effects of prolonged screen time on our eyes:
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) occurs when you use the computer or face a digital screen for prolonged periods. Some other factors such as poor ambient lighting, the inappropriate distance between eyes and the screen, as well as poor seating posture can also contribute to CVS. CVS symptoms include:
- Eye Strain
- Dry Eyes
- Blurry Vision
Poor Quality Sleep
If you find yourself glued to your digital device until late at night, you are affecting the quality of sleep that you are getting. Even when you eventually put down your device and try to sleep, you might take a longer time to fall asleep because your brain is still in active mode. If possible, try to avoid using any electronic devices at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before your usual bedtime to allow your mind to relax & ready for sleep mode.
Furthermore, the blue light emitted by electronic devices can delay your body’s “sleep clock” and suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, making it harder for someone to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Poor Health & Overall Wellbeing
By staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time does not benefit your overall metabolism but increases your possibility of undesired weight gain. Furthermore, you may experience chronic neck and back problems or higher risks of developing diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and many more.
Tips on Managing Daily Screen Time and Keeping Eyes Healthy
For your eye health and overall well-being, we’ve put together some tips on how you can limit daily screen time!
Take Regular Breaks from the Screen
Get up from your seat – grab water to drink or visit the bathroom! You could also follow the 20-20-20 rule, which is to take a 20 seconds break from the screen every 20 minutes and look at something else at least 20 feet away.
Mealtime = Family Time
Thanks to the digital platform, we get to live in a highly connected society. However, we often forget to connect with the ones living closest to us. With hours of screen time clocked up for work, games, and browsing on social media, why not make it a point to put away your devices during mealtime and strike a meaningful conversation with your family members while enjoying your food.
Avoid Hand-to-Eye Contact
Avoid rubbing your eyes with your hands as it could cause infections from germs accumulated from the objects you touch throughout the day.
Always keep your hands clean by constantly washing and properly sanitizing before touching your eyes especially when you put on and remove your contacts lens. This way, you can eliminate germs and prevent the transfer of bacteria from your hands to your eyes.
Pick up a New Hobby
Try new hobbies, preferably something that does not involve a screen. Find out if you have a green thumb, or put together a floral arrangement to enliven your living room. Engage in baking/cooking to unlock your hidden chef talents! Read a book (printed version if you can) or on a reading device that emits reduced blue rays. If you enjoy crafts, you could also order DIY kits to level up your craft skills!
Try to resist the temptations of Netflix and gaming throughout the day. Your eyes will surely thank you for the favour.
Consume Healthy Foods for Healthy Eyes
A well-balanced and healthy diet contributes to good eye health! Include foods such as egg yolks, spinach, kale, and berries like blueberries and blackberries as part of your daily diet. These foods are rich in lutein, a type of carotenoid that protects against macular degeneration. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent dry eyes.
Vitamin A helps to safeguard the cornea while zinc supports retina health, and can be found in eggs and dairy products. Vitamins C & E can help to ward off age-related vision problems and can be found in citrus fruits and nuts like almonds respectively.
Take Eye Health Supplements
Aside from food intake, another alternative is to take eye supplements since it is convenient with the given amounts of nutrients and vitamins that are made specifically for the eyes. Get supplements that include ingredients rich in antioxidants such as lutein & zeaxanthin and phytonutrients which help nourish the blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to your eyes. Not to forget, ingredients such as eyebright extracts will help relieve tired and dry eyes as well.