While stepping into the year 2020, many of you would have jotted down a list of ‘New-year resolutions’. Some of them would work, some won’t. From opting a new good habit to bailing on a bad one. You have it all listed there. And if cutting down your screen-time for the sake of your eyes is one of them, then we might be a great help to you.
From gaming-addict teenagers to workaholic employees, everyone these days is glued to the screens. Even after long work hours, we tend to stick ourselves to binge-watch our favorite series without thinking about the extra strain our eyes would be going through. Kids are even more vulnerable to the negative effects of excessive screen timings. Your mobile phones are no exception to the topic.
Since most of the population is now staying at home, and working from home due to the massive spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the screen timings have increased ridiculously. Long hours on the laptops while working and binge-watching your favorite shows can put a lot of strain on your eyes.
How does excessive screen-time affect us?
If your mobile phone is sending you notifications like “Your average screen-time was up by 10% this week” every weekend, then you should consider a little slash in your screen exposure. It might not be affecting you much in the present but there will be a time when just a little discomfort won’t be the biggest problem.
Our news-updates, contacts, entertainment, and even books now are inside the screen. Kids to the elderly, everyone has got their interests relating to the mobile screens only. But technology and instant information have their side-effects. Here are a few problems that could arise due to excessive exposure to the screens.
Physical and mental strain
You probably would be familiar with those itching eyes and headaches after long hours in front of the screen.
More the screen-time, lesser will be the hours of sleep. Plus, it affects sleep-psychology indirectly.
Increased risk of obesity
Increased hours in front of the screen means lesser physical activity, easy weight gain, and obesity.
A decrease in socializing skills
We all know those kids who hardly come out of the screen to be in contact with the real world.
Tips to improve eyesight naturally
‘Eat a lot of carrots’- you must have heard this many times, but bursting the bubble of myth, carrots might be good for your night vision; however, they won’t do the job all alone. There are a few habits and practices that you can opt for or reject for a naturally improved vision. Let’s go through a few of them.
Check on your Vitamin and mineral intake
The way to an improved vision is through a healthy body. If your body is lacking the required minerals and Vitamins, then your eye-sight will also not be as good as it could be. So, focus on the food rich in Vitamin-A, C, E, zinc, and antioxidants. Foods like
Are rich in the above-listed nutrients.
Cut-down the screen exposure
Before you visit any doctor to diagnose your eyes, your body will start signaling you. Tired eyes and aching neck are the first of the few symptoms that you are overdoing your mobile and laptop screen. Try cutting down your screen-exposure. Limit your social media usage to a maximum of 30-minutes a day and avoid watching your laptop screens for longer durations.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Ironically, most of the working people can’t limit their screen-timing due to work commitments. For those people, the effective rule of 20-20-20 can work as a home remedy. It means that after every 20 minutes, take a break off the screen and look at an object at a distance of 20 meters for 20 seconds. This will help your eyes to take a short break and relax instantly.
Get adequate sleep
Resting your eyes is as important as resting your body. When you sleep, your eyes also take rest. An average of 7-8 hours of sleep will be enough for your eyes to recover from all the screen exposure through-out the day.
Wear protective eye-wear
You can improve your eye-sight without going through many medications, but the process will take time. Till then do not avoid wearing corrective glasses. Not wearing them can cause even more defects. Also, you can consider wearing anti-glare glasses to prevent the effect of excessive screen exposure during work-hours.
Consult a specialist
As we discussed, we can correct a lot of screen-time related eye problems at home. But, if you think that your defect is a little more than just irritation and fatigue, then do not hesitate from visiting an eye-specialist. Wear the corrective glasses and follow the prescription.
Indulge in Yoga
Yoga for good eyesight is a real thing, and it can relax your eyes very quickly. Just as regular body exercise is very necessary for a fit body and flexible muscles, similarly this eye yoga can help you rejuvenate your eye from the inside.
Below are a few suggestions by JURU Yoga; try these yoga exercises to calm your eyes anywhere.
Yoga exercise for eyes works on the six eye muscles and includes looking up and down, side to side, far and near and all around.
Palming: Just like a Savasana after yoga asanas, rubbing your palms together and then placing them on your eyes, is a wonderful way to relax your eyes. Many yoga practitioners also practice this at the end of the session, when coming out of savasana or in the morning as soon as they wake up as it helps relax the eyes as well as activate the system.
Blinking: This is a simple and effective exercise to prevent eyes from drying and helping them relax, especially during work. Just sit comfortably and quickly blink your eyes 10-15 times and then close your eyes and relax. Repeat this 4-5 times.
Shifting focus from side to side: Changing focus is a great way to reduce the stress on your eyes. However, it is important that you keep the neck, shoulders and face muscles relaxed and avoid tilting or turning your head. For shifting focus from side to side, you can simply move your eyes to the right (as much as possible and focus on any object/point) as you breathe out, hold for 2-3 counts, inhale and shift the focus back to the centre (nose tip or space between eyebrows) and then move your eyes to the left. Repeat this 10-15 times and then close your eyes to rest for a while.
To focus better, you can focus on the right thumb (pointed upward) to gaze to the right as you keep the right arm outstretched to the right, in line with your shoulder. Ensure you do not turn your body and are relaxed. For the left side, gaze at the left thumb.
Nose tip gazing: For nose tip, bring the right hand in front of the nose. Make a fist with the thumb pointed upward. Bring the thumb to the nose tip, inhale, and keep your eyes focused on the tip of your thumb. After 2-3 counts, exhale and straighten the arm in front of you while you continue to focus on the tip of your thumb. Repeat this for 10-15 counts and then close your eyes and relax.
Rolling the eyes: Keep the eye muscles relaxed. Look up at the ceiling and then to the right, down, left and up, tracing a circle as you roll your eyes in a clockwise direction. Ensure you don’t move your head or body. Repeat this 5 times and then close your eyes and relax. Then repeat the same movement in the anti-clockwise direction.
Distant gazing: This is a perfect excuse to take a break to look out the window and enjoy the view of nature. Relax your eyes and then look at any distant object. View of a tree, garden, birds is an added bonus. Take a few deep breaths, if possible, smile and let go of all the tension. Close your eyes and relax and then gaze at some other distant o object. Do this for 3-5 minutes to feel completely recharged.
Prevention can be a lot better than cure. That is why it is important to eat good food and avoid watching the screen while doing that. Social –media addiction is a term to which a lot of youngsters could relate to easily. Discipline yourself when it comes to screen-time. Do not begin your day with a dose of your mobile-screen and put it away at least an hour before you go to sleep at night.
Author: Shraddha, is a graduate of Amity University and is associated with OMKITCHEN. She is passionate about writing and producing informative and engaging content related to health and lifestyle. She is also passionate about trying different kinds of organic food and herbal teas.