Understand and protect your Eyes!
Are you one of those people who does a lot of reading, writing, driving, working on the computer or staring at your smartphone on a daily basis? Then this article is for you!
Eye strain or eye fatigue (also known as asthenopia in medical terms) is, as the name suggests – fatigue or tiredness of the eyes that occurs following tedious visual tasks. It is becoming more common because of our lifestyles, both work and recreation. The symptoms of an eye fatigue can include tiredness, dull ache in or around the eyes, blurred vision, occasional double vision ,and headache.
Research shows that people hold digital devices closer to their eyes than they hold books and newspapers. Text that is read from a shorter distance or text that is very small for a user, both cause eye fatigue. The other factors could be the computer monitor requiring an upward gaze because it is above eye level, a glare or a flickering light. Eye fatigue can also result from other uncorrected vision problems such as astigmatisms or accommodative insufficiency.
When our eyes see images, whether they are near or far, they are constantly adjusting focus, similar to how a camera works. This adjustment is achieved by the group of ciliary muscles in our eyes, and the process of focusing near and far is medically known as accommodation. Viewing an object in close proximity makes our ciliary muscles tense up and while viewing distant objects, our ciliary muscles relax. That is the reason people normally advise you to look at distant objects to relax your eyes. Many clinical studies have shown a strong correlation between near work (looking at closer objects) and myopia. Looking at objects from a close range for several hours, (reading, TV, computer etc.) cause the ciliary bodies to go into spasm and loose their accommodative ability, leading to myopia or faulty vision. However, we can maintain healthy eyes and treat myopia if we train our ciliary muscles through multi-pronged eye exercises or yoga.
Here are a few simple things you can do to relax, protect and strengthen your eyes.
- Reduce or eliminate the source of irritation to the eye. For instance, if the source is a computer, adjust the lighting, ensure it is just at or slightly below eye level, adjust the computer display settings and use protective eyewear to minimize glare.
- Blink more often. Blinking ensures that your eyes are kept lubricated, protected from dust and other foreign objects and nourished with proteins.
- Practice eye exercises and yoga for the eyes.
Exercise 1 – Blink
The first eye exercise involves blinking 20 times in a row every 20 minutes. This should be combined with looking away from the screen for 20 seconds and focusing on an object 20 feet away.
The ’20-20-20-20? strategy has been designed as a solution for computer vision syndrome (CVS) which affects millions of workers and game addicts worldwide.
Exercise 2 – Yoga
Yoga for the eyes is an extremely effective technique that involves preparatory eye exercises, asanas, eye relaxation techniques ,and cleansing techniques (kriyäs). Here we will focus on the preparatory exercises and the Trataka.
The preparatory eye exercises include rotation of the eye up and down, right and left, diagonal (right up – left down, left up – right down) and rotation (clockwise and anticlockwise) and focusing on your moving index finger.