July 21, 2021
By: Jhanae Winter
Eyes are described as the gateway to one’s soul. Powerful but small organs work in conjunction with the brain for many of us to see the world around us, understand and perceive our surroundings.
Yet, it can be the part of our body we think the least about. As the world continues to focus on the global virus, we must remember to take care of other parts of our body as well.
Although there are some who do take their eye health seriously, others prolong eye damage by enduring eye diseases and other issues, whether they are aware of it or not.
Ophthalmologist and Cornea, Lens and Refractive Surgery Consultant, Dr Tarun Arora said, “We regularly see patients coming to us with end stage diabetic retinopathy presenting with bleed in the eye or end stage glaucoma with advanced damage to their optic nerve that takes signals from the eye to the brain. Timely diagnosis of these conditions and appropriate management can totally prevent vision loss from happening.”
Everyday tasks like being outside, going to work or being on your phone can affect eyesight and cause potential damage or contribute to eye diseases.
In the tropical climate we live in, the sun in abundance, even in the winter. This means harsh UV rays are consistently beaming down on us, which can result in blurred vision, sensitivity to the light, excessive tearing, blindness, and more.
One thing Dr Arora advised is to protect the eyes from the sun. “Many diseases like cataract, pterygium and age-related macular degeneration are known to accelerate faster with exposure to these harmful rays. It is therefore advisable to wear sunglasses and/or a hat to decrease the exposure to these harmful UV rays to the eyes,” he said.
Likewise the increased exposure to technological devices and their screens can dampen and strain the eyes. For those working in fields that call for such use or use mobile devices regularly, both can also damage the eyes.
“Prolonged exposure to these devices can cause Computer vision syndrome and can result in eye strain, blurred vision and dry eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions,” Dr Arora said.
In settings you can control, Dr Arora suggests replacing light bulbs with lower wattage that may be over your desk area and for windows use blinds or drapes to limit the amount of glare on a computer screen. Adjusting the computer monitor can assist with glare also.
However, in some work environments making some adjustments are not possible. In these cases, Dr Arora advised to use a screen glare filter to minimize light reflection on the screen.
To reduce eyestrain and dryness from computer screens Dr Arora said, “Try to rest your eyes when using the computer for long periods. Resting the eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use is good. Also, for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow the eyes a chance to refocus.”
Blink frequently to keep the front surface area of the eye moist whole using such devices to decrease developing dry eye, Dr Arora said.
Other working fields such as Construction or Chemists should also be aware of the threat their job poses to their eyes. Many issues can stem from eye damage while on the job or exposure to toxic chemicals.
“Understanding the risk of injury to the eye at the workplace is imperative. If you are in construction zone or working with chemical reagents, you should wear fully protective eyeglasses and face shields depending on the risk associated with a given task”.
It can not be stressed enough how important eye safety is and taking preventative measures to ensure our eyes are preforming at its greatest capacity.
Keep in mind, what we eat effects our eyesight as well. Along with carrots, eating leafy green vegetable aid in good eyesight.
Look out for a second article on eye health later this week!