Pamper those tired eyes

Healthwise

Pamper those tired eyes

With so many people using computers at work and home, eyestrain has become a very common problem marked by fatigue, irritability, backaches and increased work errors.

 The condition is so widespread that it has been given a name – computer vision syndrome (CVS) - and experts say that 60 to 90 per cent of computer users suffer from some degree of CVS. The good news is that there are ways we can relieve this and protect our eyes.

Caution better than cure

Dr Ritu Arora, Eye consultant, Max Healthcare, says, “Firstly, you should avoid working on the computer continuously for a long time. If your job requires you to be on the system for 8-10 hours at a stretch, take breaks in between. Look away from the screen every 20-30 minutes allowing your eye muscles to relax. Blink more often. This will keep your eyes from drying. Keep a bottle of artificial tears on your desk and use it after every few hours of work.”

Getting the right computer, screen and lighting adjustments is important to avoid eye strain. Dr Ritu says, “LCDs are definitely better for the eyes. Further, you can get an anti-glare screen installed. Adjust the brightness setting on your system to match that of your work environment. Alternatively, cut-off excessive lighting at your work place to make computer use more comfortable.”

Eye exercises can be very helpful in relieving them of stress. “Close your eyes and lightly but rapidly stroke the lids with your fingertips; back and forth and top and bottom. Do this several times a day, each one for a count of fifteen. Besides, use the finger and thumb of one hand to gently pinch and massage the uppermost part of the nose. Both will relax your eyes,” says Dr Ritu.

Home remedies

There are a number of quick and easy solutions for eye-strain. The simplest is to place two spoons in the freezer, take them out when cold (not frozen) and place them under the eyes. It reduces puffiness. Another effective method is to dip cotton balls in tea water, perfumed water, cold milk or lavender oil and then place them on the eyelids. All four work equally well to soothe the eyes.

You can also take a few slices of cucumber and place them on your eyelids. If you have strawberries at home, keep them in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then put them on the eyelids. This works wonders on tired eyes. If you need quick relief from visibly tired eyes, boil 2 cups of water and add a small amount of boric acid in it. Once cooled, use the solution to wash your eyes.

Proper diet 

What we eat affects our eyesight as well as the health of our bodies. Dr Ritu says, “Research has shown that there two nutrients - lutein and zeaxanthin - are very beneficial for the eyes. They act as antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals produced due to UV radiation exposure, and heal cell damage. They are found in all dark-coloured fruits and vegetables such as spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit, mango, prunes, melon, squash, broccoli, orange peppers, grapes etc.”

“Studies also prove that adding Omega-3 fatty acids (cold-water fish or fish oil supplements) and Vitamin D are beneficial to eye health. Add these to complete your diet.”

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