Being stuck in the office and staring at your screen all day is not only bad for your emotional wellbeing, but it can seriously take a toll on your eyes as well. That dry, gritty feeling you get in your eyes is real, and is often caused by strain from prolonged and concentrated use. Dr Ronald Yeoh, senior consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Camden Medical Centre, shares his tips on taking care of your peepers round the clock. This way, your eyes will stay healthy and beautiful despite your busy 9am-9pm schedule!
9am: Consciously rest your eyes while commuting
If you look around on the bus or train, 99 per cent of people around you would be staring at their mobile devices for their entire journey. This is actually very straining for the eyes – even more so if they’re holding their phones close to their faces! For every 20 minutes you look at a screen, take a 20-second break to look into the distance. Refocus your eyes on something far away and make a conscious effort to blink. If you require entertainment on your commute, try plugging in to the latest hits instead.
10am: Customise your computer
In office, be sure to keep your computer screen’s brightness low and position the monitor to be slightly below eye level to reduce strain on your eyes. Adjust the brightness of your monitor so that it’s approximately the same as the brightness of your surroundings. If the screen looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and grey, it may be too dark.
12pm: Include at least one eye-healthy ingredient in each meal
Good eye health starts by eating right. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E may help delay age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. A well-balanced diet also helps maintain a healthy weight which lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in many adults.
3pm: Grab a cup of joe
Another reason to love coffee! Coffee has been said to be good for eyes, but keep a watch on the sugar. A recent study from Cornell University found that coffee has a strong antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (CLA) that is actually good for our eyes. It was able to protect the retina and prevent retinal degeneration in mice. That said, make sure you have your caffeine fix with minimal sugar.
4pm: Proper rest and stretching
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
You know that exercise is good for you — for toning up or slimming down, or for just generally staying healthy and feeling better. You may not know, however, that 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 makeup before bed
No matter how tired you are, always make it a point to thoroughly clean off any trace of eye makeup when you get home. Leaving makeup on could clog the glands around your peepers and lead to irritated skin, pimples, and even styes (painful, raised bumps that can appear on or around the eyelids).
This article was first published on Shape.