Digital eye strain can cause dry eyes and headaches so seek the best way to prevent and treat it
Optometrists are experts in eye healthcare, not just trained to prescribe spectacles and contact lenses. They are also trained to examine, identify and treat various eye conditions, including digital eye strain (DES).
Optometrist and Branch Manager Shaidatina Syafiqah Shahrani from Zeiss Vision Center said: “Most of the time, when a patient walks into an eye care practice, they complain of burning sensation, eye discomfort, blurriness, or headache, and they are not aware of the cause.
“So, an optometrist will conduct a comprehensive examination, which includes history and a background check apart from examining the eyes and vision test.”
Shaidatina shared that DES was one of the most common eye issues diagnosed in this digital age, especially among those aged 20 to 30. And the prevalence has increased during the pandemic, including among the younger population.
Identifying the root cause
“When a patient comes in with symptoms such as dry eyes and headache, we will conduct a comprehensive examination to identify the root cause of the symptoms experienced.
“We conduct a medical history and lifestyle check to determine risks of certain eye diseases and vision disorders and understand the association between lifestyle and the visual and eye problem.
“Most of the time, the patients do not realise that they are experiencing DES symptoms caused by using digital devices for an extended time.
“We will then do eye tests, examining the eye power and anterior and posterior eye health, using an autorefractor, slip lamp, tonometer, and so on in the examination room. For dry eyes, we also do a tear breakup time (TBUT) test to examine and determine the severity.”
Treatment methods for DES
There are several ways to treat DES. First is using protective lenses with anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and a blue light filter to shield the eyes from harmful blue lights emitted by digital screens.
“Some designs of computer glasses also have a relaxing power feature at the bottom area of the lens which ensures the eyes do not strain when looking at screens.
“Patients can also opt for a contact lens approach. We have the ACUVUE Oasys contact lens made from silicone hydrogel. It allows more oxygen to reach the eye, preventing the eyes from drying out.
“ACUVUE Oasys also comes with HydraLuxe technology, which spreads tears evenly on the eye. These lenses will keep eyes moist and refreshed for the whole day. Most of our customers find the contact lenses helpful and comfortable.”
She advised the importance of having the correct prescription glasses. Otherwise, she said, the eyes will strain to see the screen.
She continued: “We also remind our patients to practice the 20-20-20 rule; for every 20 minutes of near work or digital screen use, focus the eyes on a non-digital object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Patients can also use eye drops to lubricate their eyes when their eyes feel dry.”
She said a warm eye compress was also effective in relieving dry eye symptoms. Soak a clean cloth in warm, clean water, wring the cloth and place the warm, damp cloth over the closed eyelids for about five minutes.
The moisture of the compress hydrates the eyes, and the warmth soothes and relaxes the eye to relieve any pain or muscle spasms that may accompany dry eyes.
Premium vision care and service
“Zeiss Vision Center is an optical shop, where we offer a balanced approach to all aspects of optometry service, like frames, lenses and as well as comprehensive eye examinations,” shared Shaidatina.
“We aim to combine eye care professionals’ clinical and optometric skills and ZEISS’ expertise in products, technology and processes to provide the ultimate vision care experience for our customers. Our first outlet is located in Pavilion Elite, Kuala Lumpur.
“Eyez Optometry Group founder Kevin Siew has more than 30 years’ experience in the optical industry with an intense passion for improving the quality of vision care among our local and surrounding communities,” she said.
Kevin started his first eye care practice, I-Care Optometry, in 2001 to serve the neighbourhood with premium vision care and products.
Later in 2007, he expanded his practice into Eyez Optometry at Bangsar Village II, excelling with an innovative vision to provide performance-driven and speciality design eyewear. Over time, Eyez Optometry gained traction through good feedback. The pursuit to source for out-of-the-world vision care products became an ongoing mission.
Thus in 2017, Eyez Optometry spearheaded and brought the first ever ZEISS Vision Center (ZVC) concept store from Germany into Malaysia. It is well-equipped with the latest digitalised eyecare instruments from Germany, featuring a 21st-century optical retail experience accomplished with a wide range of superior ophthalmic lenses. Eyez Optometry Group has 13 outlets across Malaysia staffed by professional eyecare practitioners. – The Health