Lockdown concerns: How to take care of your eyes

Anugraha Rao
Tuesday, 12 May 2020

After 20 minutes of work, take a 20-second break, and blink 20 times, eat diet rich in vitamin A, practise yoga

 

After the government’s rule to not step out unless it is extremely important, and avoid physical contact with others, we thought to give some extra time to work and entertainment. All the eyes are either set on computer screens, TVs or mobiles. While this is helping you get away from the tough reality of the pandemic, on the other hand, this is straining your eyes and brain, making you feel tired, sick and depressed.

Experts tell you some tips and tricks to improve eye health.

LOOK INTO THE INFINITY
Mentioning a few common reasons for eye strain and headache, Dr Vaibhav Awatade, vitreoretinal surgeon, says that due to lockdown, nobody is going out. People from different age categories are glued to their electronic devices for a longer period. This reduces your blinking rate and evaporation of the protective layer resulting in dry eyes.

“We need to take some precautions. We need to increase our blinking rate, take frequent breaks, and increase the water intake. Follow the 20-20-20 rule --- after 20 minutes of work, take 20 seconds’ break, and blink 20 times. Another option is to take a break and look into infinity. The gadgets we work on are usually placed very close to us. The eye muscles get contracted. Unlike other muscles, eyes are continuously working, therefore, they need some relaxation,” he says, adding that looking at the object kept at a good distance, or looking into the sky can help.

WEAR SUNGLASSES
As people are stepping out only once a week, they have almost zero exposure to the sun on a regular basis. Could this pose a threat to the eyes?

Awatade says no, but adds that it can definitely harm the body because we are not getting Vitamin D from the sun.

“Post pandemic, there could be two reasons for the strain on your eyes. One, dry eyes, and second, we are getting used to the darkness. Therefore, before going out, try getting used to the sun slowly by exposing yourself to it. Wear sunglasses so that direct exposure does not irritate your eyes,”  he suggests.

For people who wear contact lenses, Awatade suggests to remove them after six hours and put in the protective solution. Also, while working, avoid getting direct air (air conditioner or fan) on the face to prevent dryness of eyes.

SOURCE VITAMIN A
Awatade suggests eating green leafy vegetables, yellow coloured vegetables and fruits, foods rich in Vitamin A like sweet potato, carrots, black-eyed peas, spinach, bell peppers, etc. Also, drink a lot of water.

YOGA FOR HEALTHY EYES

Adding some more tips on how to care for your eyes, yoga teacher Meghana Pawar says that you can start off by downloading blue light filter apps on your phones and laptops, at least one time in a day, watch greenery or trees from your windows or balcony. Eat foods rich in Vit A like carrots and muskmelons, they are even in season now.

Palming: Sit or stand comfortably. Rub your palms together for a minute. Now slowly place your warm palms on your eyes. Do not press, it should be a gentle touch. Let your eyes feel the warmth. Repeat a few times during the day. Wash your hands properly and only then practise this.

Blinking: Sit or stand comfortably. Now blink your eyes for around 10 times quickly and relax. Next is open your eyes wide, then close fully for 10-15 secs. Repeat this 5 times and relax. Keep your attention on your breath while you do so.

Eye rotation: Sit or stand comfortably. Look at a distant object and slowly shift your gaze to your extreme right. Slowly come back to the centre and shift your gaze to the extreme left. Repeat this for 5-6 times. Next is full eye rotation clockwise and anticlockwise. Rest (close your eyes) if you feel dizzy. Keep your attention on your breath throughout the process.

Simple Shuddhi Kriya: With clean hands, splash regular clean water on your eyes while your eyes are closed. Splash water on your eyelids 5 to 6 times. You can do this while having your daily shower.

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