Take care of your eye health

Cuvajte zdravlje oka

Due to the disturbances that occur as a result of eye irritation in front of the monitor, only 14 % people seek doctor’s help while others neglect the problem or are not aware of it.

Patients often ask an ophthalmologist how they can preserve good eyesight. There are rules for it as well as for most things in life: One should listen to the common sense! It is vitally important to have an ophthalmological examination regularly every year. Healthy habits which are good for the whole body are good for the eye, especially time spent in the countryside where the eye may reach far with no limits.

The most typical problems of which people complain occur due to excessive eye strain. Reading at night in poor light causes no problems in young people, except for unnecessary strain and sometimes headache. With older patients it may even cause acute assault of glaucoma, i.e. eye pressure rise. Persons wearing contact lens must not sleep with them. Lens should by no means be worn at the swimming pool (due to the possibility of a very serious amoeba infection which is extremely difficult to treat). It is necessary to wear appropriate glasses at all times, according to the instructions of the ophthalmologist; glasses should never be borrowed from other persons or bought at the market place, though they may seem adequate.

Lutein also has an important role in preserving eye health. Human body may not synthetise it itself, therefore we must take it in through food or supplements. Through food, primarily green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits we do not take even one-third of that pigment important for longevity of macula, that is, the place of the clearest sight which is weakening with age. Certain research show that products that contain sufficient quantities of lutein (from 6 to 8 mg) increase macular pigment density by as much as 43 %. Furthermore, besides hitherto used vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, which were mainly mentioned as the allies in fighting heart and vascular, play an important role for the eyesight health.

Food supplements with lutein and omega-3 fatty acids are more and more recommended to people who are exposed to artificial light and computers, except to those who are suffering from cataract and glaucoma or have other vision problems. According to the statistics, in the past ten years the dry eye syndrome as a direct result of excessive sitting in front of the computer has almost doubled.

Hours and hours in front of the computer are not good for eyes. Computer syndrome occurs when the eye is strained for many hours while looking at the computer screen. Irritation, redness, itching, blurred vision are clear signals that something is wrong with eyes. These symptoms should not be ignored, although 86 % of people with such problems neglect them. An adult person spends on average 50 hours in front of computer and TV per week. One of the most frequent eye problems is dry eye syndrome. It occurs because while working on computer we blink five times less than in normal circumstances and blinking reduces possibility of irritation.

Numerous researches show that looking into the monitor causes serious eye lens strain that it leads to short-sightedness, that is, negative dioptre.

In some European countries there are computer work protection rules. According to these rules, each employee who uses the computer must have regular eyesight examination before and during employment. It is prescribed that the monitor must be placed minimum half a meter from the eyes and must be installed so that it has no reflexion.

For those whose job is connected with long hours of computer work there are rules, but also the lifestyle which may, despite obligations and challenges of the environment, maintain eye health.

LaserFocus team advises you how to take care of your eyes:

Schedule an appointment with the ophthalmologist who will set correctly your dioptre.

Make a break after every hour if your job is connected with working on computer for six to seven hours. Take a walk and relax your eyes for a while. Some new computer programmes pop up every hour a message “Take a break”. Muscle in the eye protracts and relaxes the lens and it is not meant to be constantly active. It may cause an accommodative spasm so that the eye is contracted and no longer relaxed. A pause is recommended about every thirty minutes during which you should look away from the monitor and focus your eyes in the distance. Also, open and close your eyes slowly for a few minutes, as it enables your eyes to renew the tear film. If your eyes are tired and red, if you feel sand in your eyes or have eye discharge in the form of thread or if your vision is blurred, you may be a victim of excessive eye strain. Dry eyes are also present in high percentage in people over 65 years of age, but this problem is also caused by some other factors like hormone changes, like pregnancy or menopause and the medicines like antidepressants, contraception or diuretics.

Blink. Each person normally blinks 10–15 times in a minute. When you are concentrated, you blink much more seldom. It will gradually cause discomfort. The retina is unnecessarily getting dry when tears are not evenly distributed and your eyes need help.

Set a good resolution on your computer. The monitor should not flicker and you need to set a “screen refresh” option.

Light in the room is also very important. The room and the desk must be well-lighted. Avoid direct light in the screen because otherwise visibility of the screen will not be as good as necessary and it will cause additional eye strain.

Chair also plays an important role for eyesight. The spine must be in a comfortable position because sitting in a lopsided position may cause that the muscles of the neck feel knotted, which causes insufficient blood flow and thus reduces eye “nutrition”.