Health

Keeping a close eye on your vision

Tips to relieve strain on your eyes throughout the day

Being stuck in the office and staring at your screen all day can take a toll on your eyes.

That dry, gritty feeling you get in your eyes is often caused by strain from prolonged and concentrated use.

Dr Ronald Yeoh, senior consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Camden Medical Centre, shared tips on taking care of your eyes.

9am: Rest your eyes while commuting

If you look around the bus or train, most people would be staring at their mobile devices for the entire journey.

This is a strain for the eyes, and even more so if they are holding the devices close to their faces.

For every 20 minutes you look at a screen, take a 20-second break. Refocus your eyes on something far away and make a conscious effort to blink.

If you require entertainment, try plugging in to music instead.

10am: Customise your computer

Constantly looking at something from a fixed distance causes a gradual decline in your eyes' ability to focus.

In the office, position the monitor to be slightly below eye level to reduce strain on your eyes.

Adjust the brightness of your monitor so that it is approximately the same as the brightness of your surroundings. If the screen looks like a light source, it is too bright. If it seems dull and grey, it may be too dark.

Noon: Include at least one eye-healthy ingredient in each meal

Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E may help delay age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. A well-balanced diet also lowers odds of obesity and related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes - the leading cause of blindness in many adults.

3pm: Grab a cup of joe

A recent study from Cornell University found that coffee has a strong antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which is good for our eyes.

It is able to protect the retina and prevent retinal degeneration in mice.

That said, ensure you have your coffee with minimal sugar.

4pm: Proper rest and stretch

Working in the same posture for extended periods of time is not good for your body and certainly not good for your eyes.

Constantly looking at something from a fixed distance causes a gradual decline in your eyes' ability to focus.

Stretch to relieve tension, stand up and walk around and look near and far either indoors or outdoors to readjust the focus of your eyes.

6pm: Do some walking

Getting plenty of exercise may also help preserve your vision.

Several studies over the last 10 years have found connections between regular exercise and a reduced risk of common eye ailments such as cataracts.

9pm: Always remove your eye make-up before bed

No matter how tired you are, thoroughly remove eye make-up when you get home.

Leaving make-up on could clog the glands around your eyes and lead to irritated skin, pimples and even styes.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg).

MEDICAL & HEALTH