You can now wear contact lenses for longer hours, thanks to new technology
BY KHIRTINI K KUMARAN
The increased demand for digital device use is taking a toll on our eyes. We are experiencing more screen time, resulting in the rise of digital eye strain (DES).
Optometrist Hung Pei Rou, founder of Eye Re:Vision Optometrist in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, said: “DES is a group of eye and vision-related problems caused by prolonged or intense use of digital devices.”
And due to the increased use of digital devices in daily life, DES affects people of all ages, from young children to older adults.
In addition to prolonged digital device use, other factors contributing to DES include screen glare, poor lighting, poor posture while using a computer, viewing a computer or digital screen at a wrong distance or angle, uncorrected vision issues, or a combination of many factors.
“When a patient comes in with a complaint of the symptoms above, we will do a comprehensive eye examination and help diagnose the problem. If need be, we will prescribe suitable glasses or contact lenses.”
Hung shared that corrective eyewear like glasses and contact lenses can help alleviate DES symptoms.
“Recent innovations and developments of contact lens technology introduced a water-holding feature which provides moisture to the eyes for a more extended period.
“For example, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s ACUVUE contact lenses offer high embedded wetting agent technology which allows users to wear them for long hours without the discomfort of dryness,” she shared.
Causes and symptoms
Hung also mentioned that people tend to blink less while looking at digital screens causing dry eyes, contributing to DES.
It can cause symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, eye redness, eye itching or burning sensation, fatigue, and neck and shoulder pain.
“People with DES will experience discomfort and will not be able to focus on their work or daily life routines.
“Most of these symptoms are short term and do not risk the eye and vision health because they often go away when you reduce or stop using digital devices.”
However, if the symptoms persist, visit your eye care practitioner to examine your condition because it may indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment.
Besides prescribing glasses and contact lenses, eyecare practitioners will advise on DES management tips and the 20-20-20 rule to help manage the symptoms. The rule states that for every 20 minutes, you should look at something 20 feet away from your digital screen for 20 seconds. – The Health
Practice the 20-20-20 rule to prevent digital eye strain
The 20-20-20 rule recommends taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes from staring at a screen and focusing on something at least 20 feet away.
Why 20 seconds? Mainly because it takes your eyes 20 seconds to completely relax. This principle can be put into practise using the following techniques:
- While working, set an alarm for a break every 20 minutes to remind yourself to pop and take a break.
- Focus on something that is at least 20 feet away. When in doubt about how far something is, just look at something farther rather than closer.
- It’s a good idea to get up and get a drink of water to stay hydrated while you’re resting your eyes. Your eyes will be hydrated if your body is.