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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

Professional Blogger

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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