Tag Archives: Dr S.S. Gill

Cataracts

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Ipoh Echo’s eye health series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talking to us about Cataracts.

Cataracts may cause a variety of symptoms. Blurry vision at any distance is the most common symptom of cataracts. Your vision may look foggy, filmy, or cloudy. Over time, as the lenses become more opaque or mature, less light reaches the retina. People with cataracts may have an especially hard time seeing at night making it difficult when driving. The lights from oncoming cars may scatter and cause glare.

A common complaint among housewives is that colours seem washed-out and dull. One patient who recently had her cataracts removed, actually asked her brother whether he had repainted his car white because she thought that his car colour was brown in the past! A maturing cataract makes it difficult to especially distinguish blue colours.

“Second-Sight of Aging”

There is a phenomenon called “second sight of aging” in which paradoxically a person’s reading vision suddenly improves as a result of their increased nearsightedness from swelling of the cataract. You may sometimes hear people actually boasting that they do not need reading glasses anymore to read their daily newspapers. Often this so called improved vision for nearsightedness is usually short-lived. It actually is a symptom of a maturing cataract.

Cataract in one eye

Frequent Change of Spectacles

If you find that you have been needing to change prescription spectacles every few months, this too may be a symptom of cataracts. Essentially, the spectacle powers or contact lens powers will have to be increased in order to get acceptable vision to the patient.

The Unnoticed Blurring Vision

There are some patients who do not notice their blurring vision because the cataract is more mature in only one eye. This is because the other eye compensates for the vision requirement for their daily activity. The blurring vision is only noticed when they check the vision of each eye separately, only to be surprised that vision in one eye (with cataract) is so poor!  Rarely do cataracts cause double vision (also known as diplopia). As the cataract becomes more mature, the double vision may go away.

Cataracts usually progress gradually and are not painful. They only become painful when they are extremely advanced or mature resulting in a condition called glaucoma where the eye pressure increases. Therefore it is important not to wait for the cataract to be too mature before seeking eye treatment. Rapid or painful changes in vision are suspicious of other eye diseases and should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Take note of any unusual eye symptoms and get your eyes checked annually if you are above 40 yeas of age.

Dr. Gill will discuss more on cataracts in the next issue. 

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at  05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Cataract

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Ipoh Echo’s Eye Health Series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talking to us about Cataract.

The lens in our eyes plays a crucial role in vision. This lens is transparent, crystalline and focuses light on the back of the eye (retina). When this crystalline lens becomes cloudy, it is called a cataract which is most commonly seen in the elderly.

When the lens becomes a cataract, it affects vision in some way or the other, either in the loss of clarity or quality of vision. This is because cataracts block and distort the light that has to pass through the lens, causing visual symptoms.

In Malaysia, cataract is the leading cause of poor vision in patients above the age of 55 years. Cataracts usually occur very gradually although there are instances it may occur rapidly.

Quite often, people may be unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision have been gradual. Cataracts commonly affect both eyes, but it is not uncommon for cataracts to advance more rapidly in one eye.

What are some common causes of cataract?

Contrary to popular belief, cataract is not caused by reading or eye strain. It can be described in terms of the cause as follows:

Aging:  This is the commonest cause for cataracts developing. Almost every person will develop a cataract at some stage of life because everyone is constantly aging. Most individuals will have cataracts by the time they reach their seventies.

Secondary cataracts. These occur due to medical conditions, like diabetes, or to exposure to toxic substance and certain drugs like corticosteroids or diuretics, radiation and ultraviolet exposure. Other factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing such cataracts include air pollution, and heavy alcohol consumption.

Traumatic cataracts. These form as a result of an eye injury. At times the injury may have occurred much earlier and you may have even forgotten about it. If you do remember any history of trauma, it should be highlighted to your eye doctor.

Congenital cataracts. Babies are sometimes born with cataracts as a result of an infection, injury, or poor development. They may also develop during childhood.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, these cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision. Congenital cataracts have to be treated early to avoid permanent loss of vision that cannot be reversed later on.

In the initial treatment of cataracts in adults, stronger lighting and stronger powered spectacles may be able to help you deal with cataracts. But if the impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you may need cataract surgery. The good news is that cataract surgery is generally a safe and effective procedure.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Stye in your Eye

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about STYE.

A stye is an infection of the hair follicle of an eyelash. It is also called hordeolum. It presents as a small painful lump on the outside (external hordeolum) or on the inside (internal hordeolum) of the eyelid. It basically looks like a pimple on the eyelid (called “ketumbit” in Malay).

A stye is not harmful to vision but does cause a discomfort to the eye. It can occur at any age but most often affects infants and children. It is most often caused by bacteria called staphylococcus. This bacterium is found in high concentrations within the nose and therefore is easily transferred to the eyelids by our unwashed fingers!

When an eyelash follicle gets infected with the bacteria, it swells up and becomes filled with pus. The eyelash follicle then looks like it has a pimple on the eyelid becoming red and painful.

Symptoms of stye may include the following:

    * Diffused redness in the affected area of the eyelid.

    * Burning and droopiness of the affected eyelid is another common symptom.

    * Later, a pimple-like lump appearing on the eyelid.

    * A yellow point at the centre of the red lump appears when it fills up with pus.

    * Occasional discomfort during blinking of the eye.

    * Tearing or watering of the eye, and increased sensitivity to light occasionally.

    * Later, crusting on the eyelashes if the stye ruptures and pus is expelled out.

What causes a stye?

Pretty much everyone has the potential to develop a stye without outside contamination since it is most often caused by bacteria in the nose. This bacteria is transferred easily to the eye when you rub first your nose, then your eye.

However, people with certain chronic conditions like diabetes mellitus, chronic skin conditions (seborrhoea) and chronic illnesses that reduce immunity are more prone to developing styes than the general population.

How are styes treated?

Most styes heal on their own within a few days. Warm compresses applied for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day, over the course of several days helps to encourage resolution. It relieves the pain and helps “ripen” the stye very much like a pimple. The stye usually ruptures to drain the pus collection and finally heals.

Remember never to “pop” a stye like a pimple; but always allow it to rupture on its own. The internal type of stye (that appears inside the eyelid) may sometimes not heal and therefore require drainage of the pus by your eye practitioner. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic eye ointment along with oral antibiotics depending on how severe it is. If you suspect you have a stye that keeps on worsening, seek medical attention.

More on treatment and prevention of a stye in the next issue.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Swollen Inflamed Eyelids

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Fatimah Hospital’s Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about swollen red eyelids.

Blepharitis is a condition that results in our eyelid margins becoming inflamed. It usually is chronic, causing irritation on and off and results in the eyelids becoming swollen, crusted and red.

It is similar in nature to chronic skin conditions like eczema except that blepharitis affects the eyelids and that too mainly the eyelid margins. Ladies especially find it a problem because it makes their eye makeup application difficult.

It is also annoying because it is often recurrent and chronic. When we describe an illness using the term ‘chronic’, it refers to the duration a person has been having the illness. It does not indicate how serious the condition is. Blepharitis is quite often chronic!

People with skin conditions such as rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis (like dandruff in the scalp) are more prone to blepharitis. The increased oil produced by the glands near the eyelid margins causes excess bacterial growth resulting in inflammation and redness. Another cause may be contact dermatitis due to allergies from a new makeup that you may have just started on.

Symptoms of blepharitis (inflamed eyelids) may include the following:

  • swollen and red eyelids
  • crusting on the eyelashes
  • gritty, burning or itching feeling in your eyes
  • eyelids sticking together
  • scaly or greasy eyelids
  • difficulty in wearing your contact lenses
  • blurred vision when the eyelid produces the oily secretions that get into the eye

How will it be treated?

If your practitioner has confirmed that you have blepharitis, then having good eyelid hygiene is even more important. Keep your eyelids clean and free from crusting of skin in order to reduce the risk of an infection.

Putting a warm moist compress by soaking a towel in hot water and then placing the warm towel over your eyelids for five to 10 minutes will often help. The water should not be scalding hot and the compress should feel comfortable on your skin. This often helps to loosen any crusting or flakes of skin. This can be done twice a day.

You can also clean your eyelids by using a small amount of baby shampoo diluted in warm water. Apply it with a cotton bud along the edge of your eyelid and rinse. Do not wear any eye makeup during this time as it could worsen your condition or slow down healing.

Depending on the cause, your practitioner may treat you with either antibiotic eye ointment or a mild steroid eye ointment to be used sparingly. This will need to be applied using a clean finger or a cotton bud taking care not to scratch your eye during application. If your symptoms are severe or other treatments don’t work, your practitioner may prescribe oral antibiotics.

Blepharitis may be mistaken for other eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis or a stye or chalazion (small bump in the eyelid caused by a blockage of a tiny oil gland). Only your medical practitioner can properly diagnose blepharitis. If you suspect you have blepharitis, seek prompt medical attention.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

When Something’s Stuck in Your Eye

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Help… Something’s Stuck In My Eye!

It’s not uncommon for the occasional eyelash or makeup to get in your eye. In these instances, the foreign body sits at the superficial layers of the eye and your eye’s natural tears will usually wash the object out.

However, sometimes objects may scratch the surface of the cornea or may become embedded in the eye. Small objects travelling at high speed can cause serious injury to the eyeball. These injuries may cause bleeding, a change in the size or shape of the pupil, or a serious damage to the inside of the eyeball with the foreign body being retained in the eyeball resulting in vision loss.

Symptoms for foreign bodies (medical term) in the eye may include the following: sharp pain followed by burning, irritation, tearing, and redness in your eye; feeling that something is in your eye when moving your eye around while it is closed; scratching sensation over your eye when blinking; blurred vision or vision loss in the affected eye after doing any form of mechanical work; bleeding in your eye.

Self-Care at Home

For minor foreign bodies, home care should be adequate. But if you have trouble removing something in your eye or if a larger or sharper object is involved, you should seek medical attention. If you are wearing a contact lens, it should be removed prior to trying to remove the foreign body. Do not wear the contact lens until your eye is completely healed.

To remove minor debris, try rinsing your eye with a saline solution (the same solution used to rinse contact lenses). Tap water or distilled water may be used if no saline solution is available immediately.

If washing out your eye is not successful, the object can usually be removed with the tip of a sterile cotton swab. Do not rub your eye or to apply any pressure to your eye.

Seek professional medical attention immediately when: You feel something going into your eye after hitting something, such as hammering a nail; You have removed the foreign body from your eye and continue to have a sensation that something is in your eye, or you continue to have pain and tearing after removal of the object; You are unable to remove the foreign body from your eye; Your vision is blurry or otherwise compromised (e.g., blind spots, seeing “stars”).

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Eye protection is the best prevention. Always wear safety goggles, or face shields when working in an environment where flying debris is likely, for instance working with power tools or chemicals. Eye protection should cover not only the front but also the side of your eyes. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient eye protection when working in a high-risk environment. You should wear goggles or safety glasses with side shields.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582,
email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Nutrition for Your Eyes

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Dr. S.S. Gill

In our series on Eye Health, Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about how nutrition plays a part in eye health.

The question many people ask Ophthalmologists is whether nutrition and vitamins play a part in maintaining healthy eyes. The answer in a nutshell is, “Yes, your eyes reflect what you eat!” Good nutrition is important for eye health and of course for general health too. Good nutrition helps to nourish our eyes, protect against eye infections and allows the eyes to function properly.

Diets Rich in Vitamins

A typical example of how nutrition plays a vital part in the health of our eyes is a childhood condition leading to blindness called xerophthalmia. This condition is due to a lack of vitamin A in the diet and is commonly seen in developing countries.

Certain foods are essential for good eye health. They maintain healthy cells in the eye which is so essential for proper function. Amongst the more important ones are the anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins can be found in many different sources of fruit and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, carrots and green leafy vegetables.

Oxidative Stress

Our bodies constantly react with the oxygen in our environment. Due to this activity, humans produce tiny molecules called free radicals. These free radicals affect our cells, sometimes damaging them. This is called oxidative stress and it plays a role in how macular degeneration develops.

Carotenoids – Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Studies have shown that two types of carotenoids called Lutein and Zeaxanthin are essential for eye health. In the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) of 4,757 patients, it showed that those who had a higher intake of Lutein with Zeaxanthin in their diet had less incidence of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

These carotenoids keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress especially from the exposure to blue light (high energy photons). Lutein has also been shown to improve retinal sensitivity. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found naturally in vegetables, fruits, yellow peppers, mango, bilberries, spinach and broccoli.

A Balanced Diet

A good balanced diet that includes sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables is therefore essential. However, if you feel that your diet lacks adequate vitamins and minerals, you might want to consider taking a supplement for general and eye health when:

* your diet does not include enough fresh fruit and vegetables .

* it is hard to obtain or prepare fresh fruit and vegetables.

* you have been told to take a vitamin supplement by your eye doctor.

Key Points to Remember

In summary, to maintain good eye health, you should:

* Eat a good, balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

* Take multivitamin supplements with carotenoids if needed.

* Stop smoking – cigarette smoke contains large amounts of free radicals.

* Protect your eyes from sunlight. Use good quality sunglasses. Ones that filter off harmful ultraviolet rays and lenses that are polarised are best.

* Get your eyes tested every 2 years if you are generally healthy but more often if you have medical problems like diabetes mellitus.

For more information, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh

Dry Eyes

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Dr. S.S. Gill

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about dry eyes.

Dry eyes is a condition due to the reduction in the quantity or altered quality of the tears. Tears are necessary for the lubrication of our eyes and to wash away particles which can cause infection. You can imagine the eyes to be like “a fish without water” when they lack tears!

If you have dry eyes, you may feel a burning, stinging sensation. You may also experience tired eyes after reading, even for short periods of time. If you wear contact lenses, they may feel uncomfortable or scratchy to the eyes. It is estimated that up to 15% of adults suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome and that this figure continues to rise.

What Causes Dry Eye?

Dry Eye Syndrome is most common in adults aged 40 and older. As you age, your eye’s tear glands produce less of this fluid, making your tear film break. This causes most dry eye sufferers to feel painful eye irritation and experience vision loss.

Causes of Dry Eye include:

* Aging or menopause.
* Constant exposure to air-conditioners, wind and sun.
* Smoking or second-hand smoke exposure.
* Previous eye surgery such as Lasik.
* Eye injury, facial paralysis, poor lid closure.
* Certain medications like antihistamines.

Why are Tears Important?

Tears have 3 basic functions. Firstly, they bathe and protect our eyes. Secondly, they also contain proteins and nutrients which provide nourishment to the eye. Thirdly, tears help refract light to keep vision nice and sharp.

Tears are not just simple watery fluid but are actually comprised of 3 layers – the FATTY (lipid) layer, WATERY (aqueous) layer, and the MUCIN layer.

The outer FATTY layer works by keeping our tears from evaporating or drying-up too soon. This layer is produced by our eyelid glands, so if you have unhealthy eyelids, a defective fatty layer would result. In this condition, tears could dry up very fast.

The middle AQUEOUS layer is the main WATERY part of your tears, while the inner MUCIN layer is the “glue” layer needed to keep the whole tear film well spread on the eye surface.

A defect in any one of these 3 layers of the tear film will cause inadequate or poor quality tears.

If you have Dry Eyes, you may try the following:

  • Use preservative-free artificial tears, available as either drops or ointment.
  • Don’t smoke. Avoid second-hand smoke, direct wind, and air conditioning.
  • Use a humidifier, especially if you are constantly in an air-conditioned room.
  • Purposefully blink more often and rest your eyes when you feel strained.

Severe dry eyes may result in eye redness and pain. Some may even experience flaking, discharge, or a lesion on the eye. If after trying the above self-care steps and your dry eyes do not improve within a few days, see your eye-care practitioner.

For more information on Eye Health, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Computer Vision Syndrome….Do You Have It?

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about the effect of computers on the eyes.

In today’s world, millions of people do their daily work and socialising on a computer, iPad or smart phone. Almost every urban person today uses a computer for long periods of time, thus requiring the constant use of near vision.

With the permeation of such devices in everyday life, more and more people are now experiencing a variety of ocular symptoms related to computer use. However, most people do not notice the symptoms and just brush them off as having had a tiring day at work.

In actual fact, it is the prolonged computer use that results in symptoms like irritation, tired eyes, redness, blurred vision, eyestrain, tearing, photophobia (unable to tolerate light) and even blurred vision. In some patients, this can progress to chronic headaches as well. These symptoms are collectively referred to as computer vision syndrome (CVS).

Although there is no conclusive scientific evidence proving that computers are harmful to the eyes, it has been noted that anyone who stares at a computer monitor for more than two hours a day is likely to experience CVS to some extent. Computer vision syndrome is estimated to be 40 times more common than carpal tunnel syndrome, which is another health condition affecting computer users but involving the wrist and hands instead.

Letters on the screen (digital text) are formed by tiny dots called pixels which have less sharp edges compared to the solid image in well printed material. This makes the eye work a bit harder to keep these images in focus. When this happens over a long period of time, it can result in the symptoms of CVS. Clinical studies have shown that viewing text on the computer in comparison to viewing hard copy documents results in significantly worse symptoms of fatigue.

Keeping CVS at Bay

One of the most common mistakes we make is to place the monitor of the computer too high. The ideal viewing angle is roughly 10 to 20 degrees below the eye. Thus, a screen that is placed too high can lead to dry irritated eyes because it forces us to constantly keep our eyes wide open and invariably blink less. It is therefore recommended to follow the rule-of-thumb of having the top of the monitor screen placed at the eye level.

Glare from surrounding lamps and lights can also lead to eyestrain. Removing direct light sources that reflect off your screen, moving your computer station, or installing blinds or shades can reduce glare. Another way of eliminating glare is to use anti-reflection computer screens.

If you wear reading glasses to read, consider making a special pair of reading glasses adjusted for computer use as the focal distance would be adjusted for your comfort. The use of lubricating eye drops can also help relieve symptoms of dry eyes associated with CVS. These eye drops can be instilled before, during and after using the PC. Preservative-free artificial tear eye drops are best.

Remember also the 20-20-20 rule to decrease eye strain. For every 20 minutes of computer use, look away for 20 seconds at an object about 20 feet away from you.

For more information on Eye Health, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at
05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Light Up Your Eyes

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Dr. S.S. Gill, Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist

By Dr. S.S. Gill

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. S. S. Gill talks to us about how lighting may affect the health of our eyes.

Does reading in dim light do any harm to our eyes?

Reading in dim light does not change the function of our eyes in any permanent way but it does stress the eyes out!  The best lighting conditions for reading are ambient, rather than direct, and there should be no glare in a reading area.

Reading in dim light can cause eye strain which could make the reader uncomfortable, and therefore it is a good idea to set up a well lit reading space to make reading more enjoyable. The eye often finds it hard to focus in dimly lit conditions, which can be a cause of eye strain. People also tend to blink less while reading in dim light because they need to pay more attention to discern the details on the page, which can result in a dryness of the eye which feels unpleasant.

How do you feel after working in your office all day? Are you fatigued or tense? Are your eyes tired? Or do you feel relaxed and peaceful? Your physical comfort has a lot to do with the lighting in your office and your work station. Getting proper advice and understanding the principles of proper home and office lighting has an impact on the way people work in it. “Simply said, if you don’t feel good in a space because of its lighting, you won’t work as productively.”

Does the kind of lighting make a difference?

Warm white light gives off yellowish light that helps enrich the warm colours around us. They have a calming effect and help to relax an individual. You will find areas like bedrooms, lounges and hallways are better off with warm white light.

The cooler white light on the other hand is crisper under higher colour temperatures and appears more ‘normal’ in high lighting level situations. As a matter of fact, ‘cool white’ light gives off a bluer light that improves our ability to see contrasts making it good for work areas such as kitchens, laundries, workshops and offices.

However, although cool white light enables better contrast in vision, the output in the predominantly blue portion of the light spectrum does exacerbate glare. This is because light in the blue part of the spectrum and UV light have peaks which are very close together (approx 3500K), and this works the eye (photoreceptors) at a much higher rate than that of the warm white (2700K) light.  This means that your eyes may not be as relaxed in this environment if you are working long hours under this lighting.

In a natural sense, most people do tend to prefer ‘warm white’ light. In fact, we have been conditioned to find warm appearing lamps ‘normal’ at low lighting levels, since it mimics the colour of fire which we have used as a light source for thousands of years.

So, if you find that you are always having tired eyes, you may want to try changing your room or work space lighting to warm white and it should help make it less stressful for the eyes.

Based on scientific research, it is now known that excessive blue light damages the retina (back of the eye) contributing to diseases like age related macular degeneration. Yes, our eyes need light to work, but too much of the wrong kind of light and UV, and too little light can damage the eyes.

For more information on Eye Health, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.

Eye Stress – Part 2

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Dr. S.S. Gill Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist

In our continuing series on Eye Health, Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. S.S. Gill talks to us about Eye Stress.

People who are addicted to using their smartphones may be having fun with playing games or surfing the internet, but do not realise that their eyes are stressed by the hours of staring that they do. Our eyes are in actual fact biologically not designed to stare at a computer screen all day long. If we were out “hunting” and “gathering” as we were made out to be, our eyes would get their natural break from intensive close-range staring that many people do in today’s modern age.

All the staring at computers and smartphones for long hours each time means “we are getting our eyes to do something they were not meant to do”! Unfortunately for our eyes, we do live in a world surrounded by gadgets that demand this kind of staring activity. We may be switching from using our smartphone to using the computer, and then to reading an e-book on our iPad, placing the same stressful demands on our eyes. The long hours spent using these gadgets do not help as well.

Interestingly, both men and women suffer from eye strain although women are reporting more eye and vision problems associated with their screen time than men. This is possibly because women are more prone to dry eyes than men.

It is not really known why women experience the dry-eye syndrome more than men do, but it has been speculated that hormones do play a part in tear production. The hormonal changes that occur in peri-menopausal (just around the time when menopause begins) and of course menopause itself can explain why older women are more susceptible to dry eyes, which is contributing factor towards eye strain.

Dry air in an air-conditioned environment also adds to symptoms of eye strain and fatigue. If you work in a place where the air-conditioning is extra efficient, for example in a deli or supermarket, or in a corporate office environment, the symptoms and discomfort may worsen if you suffer from dry eyes.

This is why some women develop bloodshot eyes after spending some time in a supermarket and may even look like they have had a few shots of alcohol!

It is good to remember that our eyes are in their most relaxed state when looking into the distance. This is where the 20-20-20 rule is helpful when practised. For every 20 minutes of doing concentrated near-work, look 20 feet into distance for at least 20 seconds. This deliberate activity relaxes the ciliary muscles used for near accommodation, thus reducing eye stress.

Remember to consciously take quick and regular breaks to relax your eyes whenever you are going to be working long hours on concentrated near-work. You can also shut your eyes for about 20 seconds every now and again (that is if your boss allows you!)

For more information on Eye Health, contact Gill Eye Specialist Centre at 05-5455582, email: gilleyecentre@dr.com or visit www.fatimah.com.my.