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Save Your Eyes from Eye-strain from a Bright Screen

Save Your Eyes from Eye-strain from a Bright Screen

My life is mostly online: I am either staring at my laptop or my phone. This continuous, long exposure to a bright screen started straining my eyes. I started having red-eye, and it eventually affected my sleep — I always felt like I needed to rest but I could not sleep well. I finally went to see my ophthalmologist.

Computer Vision Syndrome

My ophthalmologist is a smart lady, and she also knows me personally. Before I could tell her about my problems, she narrated them for me. I was astonished and asked her how she figured it out. She said it is common across people who stare at a bright screen for long hours for many years.

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This condition is called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). CVS is not about one specific eye problem, but encompasses a lot of issues that originate from regular usage of computers for long hours. CVS is not limited to adults; kids these days are addicted to video games, tablets, and even cell phones. While kids spend a lot of their time in school without being in front of a bright screen, the after school time can still harm their eyes if they are in front of their favorite gadgets for longer than they should be.

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Symptoms

You may find solace in the fact that CVS does not cause any serious damage to your eyes, thanks to our body’s capability to fight and adjust with the changes in environment. However, the element of contrast, which is missing when you read a book, adds a lot of strain to your eyes. If you have CVS you may suffer from one or many of the following symptoms:

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  • Everything appears blurry: You need to put in effort to see things clearly.
  • You see double: You see something and then you see a copy of it a slight distance away from it.
  • Dry and/or red eyes: Your eyes are always red and they are dry, causing itching.
  • Eye irritation: You feel a need for eye drops.
  • Headache: You suffer from mild headaches as soon as you start working on your computer and for a short bit after you stop.

How to stop eye-strain with the 20-20-20 rule

When I asked about what I should do, my ophthalmologist gave me some eye-drops for temporarily relief. She said that while eye-drops will take care of CVS in the short term, I needed to practice an eye exercise to get rid of this problem for good. She told me about a 20-20-20 rule, which says that those who are in front of computers (or any bright screen) for long hours should take a break every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

This is one, simple rule that will take care of your eyes when you have to be in front of a bright screen. It is easy to follow, except when you are busy working and you cannot keep track of time — and you skip the exercise for hours and ultimately increase the strain on your eyes.

Being a tech-savvy person, I thought there should be an app for that. I started looking online and I found a simple app called Eye Care 20 20 20 that does only one thing: it sends you a notification every 20 minutes to take a 20-20-20 break. The app has a start button and a stop button. Before I start working every morning, I turn it on, and at the quitting time at the end of the day I stop it. This has regulated my exercise and I noticed the difference the first day. My eyes were well rested, and I slept better that night. It’s part of my regimen now. Other, similar, eye-care apps include Look Up and 20 20 20. There are also programs designed for your computer which work the same way.

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Mukesh Agarwal

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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