Eye Care in the New Normal
As the Philippines is stuck in the longest quarantine in the world, we’ve slowly adjusted to a new daily routine. Working from home and living within the limitations of quarantine mean less outdoor time and more screen time. We’ve become more dependent on our digital screens to connect with the outside world.
According to the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology (PAO) and the Philippine Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (PSPOS), kids aged 2-4 should have a maximum of only one hour of screen time per day, while 5-year-olds and above need guided screen time with frequent breaks in between. However, the lockdown has warranted an increase in daily screen time for both kids and adults.
Photo 1: Aside from letting kids take regular breaks from gadgets, parents should consider getting them computer eyewear. Peculiar has a wide range of kid-friendly eyewear to protect them from computer radiation, blue light, and UV rays.
Have you been experiencing more frequent eye strains and headaches from all those online classes/meetings and Netflix binges? Your gadgets may be the culprit. “Increased screen time predisposes one to eye strain and dry eye syndrome,” said Tin R. Perez de Tagle, MD, MBAH–Ophthalmologist, The Eye MD Ophthalmology Clinic. She clarified that it isn’t the blue light emitted by digital devices per se that is the direct cause of eye problems, but the length of time you spend on the screen without proper breaks.
Photo 3: Hagardo no more! Actor Gardo Versoza and wife Ivy Vicencio use Peculiar eyewear to protect their eyes from computer radiation.
Photo 4: Broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez is wearing Ice Baby from the Ces Style x Peculiar collection.
To care for your eyes in the new normal, heeds these tips from our affiliate clinic, The Eye MD Ophthalmology Clinic.
- Practice the 20-20-20 rule.
After spending 20 minutes on the screen, spend 20 seconds looking at an object 20 feet away. If you mindfully incorporate this habit, you will notice fewer symptoms of dry eyes, eyestrain, and headaches.
Remote working and being stuck in quarantine during the COVID-19 crisis has made it more difficult to lessen our screen time. All the more we should follow the 20-20-20 rule to keep our eyes healthy. As for children, make sure their use of gadgets does not take up the majority of their waking hours or interfere with sleep.
Photo 5: The stylish Peculiar Atlas Round Acetate protects your eyes from gradient sunrays, UVA/UVB rays, computer rays, and helps relieve eye strain from prolonged use of digital equipment like cellphones, laptops, and TV. It’s now on sale for only P569.
- Don’t forget to blink.
“Be mindful that we have timely blink intervals,” Dr. Perez de Tagle said. “A lot of times when we do near or focused work, we forget to blink. Prolonged blinking intervals affect the way our eyes naturally create a smooth tear film necessary for a good vision.”
- Mind your setup and position.
Whether it’s for a Zoom meeting, online class, Netflix binge, or just a quick Facebook chat with a friend, your gadget’s setup and position matter. “Make sure you maintain good posture by keeping the computer at eye level with a good sitting position,” Dr. Perez de Tagle said. If you’re working in an area with an air-conditioner or fan, make sure the air is not directly blowing at your eyes. Direct air from a fan or air-conditioner will dry out your eyes.
- Consider intervention.
Feel free to adjust your gadget’s font size to a bigger, readable size. Keep your screen backlight at a comfortable level to reduce eye strain. If you’re experiencing constant dry eyes, ask your ophthalmologist to prescribe an eye lubricant to supplement your tear film.
Ces and Yorme: Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was a guest in Peculiar endorser Ces Drilon’s Kumu show, “Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon.” They are both wearing computer eyewear from the Ces Style x Peculiar collection.
Because there’s an increase in dependence on gadgets in quarantine, you should consider getting computer eyewear to help reduce the eyestrain associated with prolonged computer work and screen time. If your vision is starting to blur and other symptoms persist even after following the eyecare tips mentioned, it’s best to see an ophthalmologist for further assessment.