I’ve always been paranoid when it comes to my eyesight. I love reading so much and I never ever want to get blurry eyesight to the point that I wouldn’t be able to function properly without eyeglasses or contact lenses.
I spend at least 4 hours of leisure reading per day in addition to the time I use computers and mobile devices. I only have a few hours to rest my eyes from all the activity.
I noticed that my eyes were getting tired more often. I was more sensitive to light and I began researching ways to lessen eye strain when using laptops and reading. I tried blinking more often and just closing my eyes to rest for 5 minutes from time to time. But it wasn’t enough. My eyes still got tired and strained after an hour of using my laptop.
So here are some of the ways to lessen eye strain and take care of your eyes if you’re paranoid about blurry eyes like me:
Position of light with respect to you
Lighting is very important when it comes to reading. Sometimes reading a paper book in a bright, well lit room gives us the best reading experience.
However, when using computers, laptops or any mobile devices, too much light and glare can hurt your eyes. Mostly, overhead lights or light sources positioned behind you (like windows) are not recommended because it causes more glare or light to reflect on your computer screen. The ideal thing is to position the light sources to come from the side, or to use some indirect lighting techniques. A useful technique for finding out if your lights are positioned wrong is to cup your hands over your eyes, kind of like wearing a visor. If your eyes are immediately relieved, then there’s something wrong with your lighting and you should change positions.
Dry eyes – not good
Sometimes, we marathon readers read for long hours and with intense focus and we forget to blink or drink water. You’ll know if your eyes are too dry when they start tearing because this will be your brain’s way of helping your eyes get moisture.
To prevent dry eyes, blink a lot more than you normally do and drink water to hydrate. If your eyes are too dry, use eye drops maybe 3-5 times daily. It took some time for me to get the knack for eye dropping with perfect aim.
If you visit your local optical shop, you’ll notice that protective digital lenses are getting popular. These are computer glasses that will block the blue light that comes from most digital screens like laptops, iphones, etc. After using these I noticed that I could work on the computer for longer hours without getting tired.I use Eyezen blue light filter glasses which can be made to cater to people with normal eyesight or those who are already using prescription glasses. My doctor recommended these when we found out that I had astigmatism and needed correctional lenses.
Another pair of digital lenses I have used is Energeyes. There are non-prescription, blue light filter lenses that I used before I switched to Eye zen. Energeyes was effective in lessening my eye strain.
Give your eyes a break from time to time. I do this by closing my eyes for 5 minutes straight or spending a few seconds looking underneath the table where its darker. Others recommend focusing your eyesight on far points, or something other than the digital screens every few minutes.
Myths and Sage advice
I also take care of my eyes by following sage advice from old wise people like my grandmother – eat lots of carrots and don’t wash your eyes when they’re tired. According to my grandmother, the not washing thing applies to everything related to your body, as in don’t wash anything when you’re tired. You can’t take a shower after going to the gym. Rest for a reasonable amount of time before getting yourself wet. Whenever I read a really engrossing, un-put-downable book, I do not wash my face (and get my eyes wet) right after the long reading session. Somehow, this advice made sense to my very young mind and I followed it religiously because I love reading and I love having good eyesight.
Now according to various sources in the internet, the don’t wet your eyes rule is a myth. Washing your face when your eyes are tired can help relieve eye strain. So I guess it’s your choice on which sage advice you want to follow and believe. My grandmother’s advice has been programmed into my mind for so long that it just feels wrong to not follow it.
There are probably a lot of people around here who must love reading as much as I do. If you want to be able to use computers, read books and do exciting stuff with your eyes when you’re 80, then now is a good time as any to start doing little things that will give our eyes the best chance for long term perfect vision.