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Health & Fitness Mind & Body

Refresh tired eyes

Take care of your very own window to the world, your eyes.

Strained eyes are a common complaint of computer and digital screen users. Working with computer, mobile, television screens and other digital devices uninterrupted for long periods of time causes eye strain. The result is dry eyes, watery eyes, redness, itchiness and irritation in the eyes, blurred vision and headache. The medical term for this condition is Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain.

Thankfully, the damage to your eyes is not permanent, and most of the symptoms are temporary and will decrease after stopping digital screen use. Some people may experience continued blurred distance vision even after stopping work at a computer. Left untreated, the symptoms will continue to recur and may become worse when your eyes are exposed to digital screens for too long.

While it’s not possible to stay away from screens for long due to the demands or nature of work, there is quick and easy fix to reduce eye strain: the 20-20-20 rule.

Take a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to destress. If you’re not sure about the distance, simply focus on a distant object. If you work or live in a small space, go outside or into a larger area where you can destress your eyes.

Medical science suggests the 20-20-20 rule is a good practice to defend from eye strain caused by Computer Vision Syndrome, but a break from repetitive exposure to computer and digital screens is beneficial. It’s also worth mentioning that children don’t notice or acknowledge eye strain the way adults do. If you  are a parent, closely monitor your child’s screen time.

While you rest your eyes, use the break to drink water and stay hydrated to ensure your body and your eyes are not dehydrated.

In addition to the 20-20-20 rule, the American Optometric Association provides more useful advice on dealing with Computer Vision Syndrome, like diagnosis, eye care, correct use of computer screens and seating posture, which we have covered in detail.

Take precautions to minimise the strain on your eyes, and also supplement your eye care routine with yoga postures that improve eyesight naturally. This video by NDTV Good Times shows a series of simple yoga poses for healthy eyes performed under expert supervision.

Now that you know what causes eye strain and how to avoid it, it might be a good idea to set a reminder to help you take a break and rest your eyes during an absorbing day at work or a hectic schedule at home working with or viewing a computer or digital screen. The Deetox app has just what you need. Download our iOS or Android app, go to ‘The happy hub’, and find the reminder to rest your eyes, along with a whole lot of reminders to help you remember to take care of home, health and happiness, and have fun too.

By Romeo Coutinho

Rationalist, truth seeker, full time writer, part time dreamer.

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