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Take It Easy

Eye Health

By Dr S.S. Gill 

Eye stress affects a large majority of the population especially in this day and age. This of course is no surprise as in today’s world, millions of people do their daily work and socialising on a computer, tablet or cell phone. The eyes can of course suffer from eye stress since our eyes constantly are at work. The term EYE STRAIN or EYE STRESS is frequently used to describe a group of symptoms which are related to use of the eyes. Eye strain is a symptom, not an eye disease. Eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading, or working at the computer. If you have any eye discomfort caused by looking at something for a long time, you can call it eye strain.

The medical term for eye strain is asthenopia. The symptoms of ocular fatigue, tired eyes, blurring vision, headaches, irritated eyes, and occasionally doubling of the vision are brought on by concentrated use of the eyes for visual tasks. Some people, while concentrating on a visually intense tasks, unconsciously clench the muscles of their eyelids, face, temples, and jaws and develop discomfort or pain from use of those muscles. Eye stress affects a large majority of the population. Eye stress is as much a concern as any other illness of the body. It makes the eyes tired and you drained of energy. Eye stress actually affects our well-being because the eyes are used constantly at work throughout the waking hours of a day for various tasks including even socialising!

Briefly, common ACTIVITIES that may cause eye strain include:

  • Computer use and computer games.
  • Reading long hours.
  • Watching television for long periods.
  • Driving long distances.
  • Sewing & Knitting.

Contributing ENVIRONMENTAL factors that can add to eye stress:

  • Poor lighting
  • Improper lighting
  • Low screen contrast levels
  • Excessive brightness

PERSONAL factors that may contribute to eye strain:

  • Poor and uncorrected vision (refractive errors)
  • Poor posture
  • Alcohol and drug use

SOME POINTERS:

1. ADJUST THE BRIGHTNESS OF YOUR SCREEN LOWER

2. AVOID SITTING TOO CLOSE TO THE SCREEN

3. PROPER REFRACTIONS – Get proper spectacles if needed.

4. KEEPTHE ROOM BRIGHTNESS OPTIMAL

5. SIT CORRECTLY AT YOUR WORKSTATION

6. CHANGE THE FONT SIZE TO MAKE VIEWING COMFORTABLE

7. TAKE BREAKS

8. GET EYES CHECKED ANNUALLY AND TREATED FOR ANY EYE PROBLEMS

And of course, try to figure out what element of the fatiguing activity is causing the problem and reduce it.

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Dr S.S. Gill

Dr S.S. Gill is a Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh. For more information on Eye Health, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah 05 545 5582 or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.

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