21 Apr Making the most of your Eyes
Did you know that the natural lens in the eye never stops growing? Around the age of 70, the lens is the size of a pea!
Although this is a very slow change over a lifetime, a very different change has been imposed on all our lives recently, due to the Coronavirus crisis.
During the last few weeks, and for the foreseeable future, most of us have had to adapt our daily routines, to ensure we stay indoors a lot more than we are used to.
Many are discovering the benefits of working from home; there is no stress of a daily commute to and from work; more flexibility in getting outside for some fresh air, and video-conferencing seems to be a way forward for many to keep in touch with work matters. Being in contact with loved ones especially those you cannot be with in person, has never been easier, due to technology.
Spending more time using digital devices, in some cases, for prolonged periods, can affect how your eyes work and feel.
On the other hand, many people are having to get used to having their daily dose of fresh air in the bright spring sunshine, not to mention the hay fever season which is almost underway.
All these things can give rise to a number of eye complaints, many of which can be managed effectively despite the changes in the way we are living our lives.
Typical complaints might be:
- Eyes feel sore and gritty
- Eyes feel itchy
- Eyes feel strained, at the end of the day
- Headaches, above the eyes, especially after prolonged close work.
- Tired eyes, due to the glare from bright screens
- Glare and squinting when outdoors
- Watery eyes
- Eyes going blurry from time to time, or difficulty adjusting to looking at things in the distance after prolonged close work
All these symptoms are typical of situations where our eyes have been overworked, and this self-help guide will help you manage many of the issues.
Here’s a few things you might find useful:
- In the year 2020, it would be good to adopt the 20-20-20 rule when using a digital device for prolonged periods: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. This reduces strain in the focusing muscles of the eyes and will help maintain concentration.
- Place a post-it note on your screen with “BLINK” written on it- looking at it will remind you to blink more often. Blinking really helps with production of good quality tears, essential for eye comfort as well as giving the outer part of the eyes some valuable protection from bacteria and viruses.
- When washing your face, apply a warm flannel repeatedly to the closed eyes and the surrounding area- this helps improve circulation and promotes better working of the glands in your eyelids that produce tear secretions. A gentle massage in the area around the eyes will also help.
- When outdoors, do wear protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses, to help with the sun and the wind. Many people who suffer from “dry eye” will benefit greatly from wraparound eyewear.
- Wear safety grade protective goggles when doing DIY work. You can even get safety prescription eyewear for children who partake in sport.
- Try and put your phones or digital devices away in the last hour of the day. Your eyes and your mind need some downtime, to be able to unwind and help you relax to a good night’s sleep. Good sleep will also reduce any symptoms of dry eyes.
- Many Eyewise clients also benefit from regular meditation and/or yoga exercises- this time could be your opportunity to try something new!
Eye drops, gels and ointments are very effective at alleviating symptoms of dry eye, as does regular use of an “Eyebag”, a simple bag that is heated up in the microwave, to be placed on your closed eyes for 10 minutes or so.
Although Eyewise may be closed to “normal business”, you can still get advice if you are concerned about your eyes. There is still an option of a phone or video consultation if you feel you would benefit from one.
We can even guide you to the types of drops that may work to help with symptoms. This is also an ideal time to equip yourself with sunglasses, and these can be made to prescription as well!
All you need to do is email: [email protected], or call 01895 234563 9.00-5.00.
I hope this small guide has been of some use- feel free to send me feedback by email to: [email protected]
To your health!