30 April 2021

Top tips for looking after your eyes to prevent stress

Top tips for looking after your eyes to prevent stress

Stress and health go hand in hand. Depleted health equals an increase in stress and worry. Look after yourself through diet and exercise and reduce anxiety and depression as a result.

We know it’s not always that straightforward, and we are not healthcare professionals. We take a look at a few simple changes to reduce our stress levels. (Please always remember to book an appointment to see your GP or seek professional attention if you have any ongoing health concerns.)

Our eyes are like our trusted technology; we don’t really consider their running time or upkeep and care until something starts to go wrong. Don’t wait for tell-tale signs before being diagnosed. Keeping our eyes in tip-top condition is so important. Opticians are open for business, so if you haven’t had an eye test in the last two years, it’s time to book an appointment. An optometrist can spot changes to our eye health and can also detect health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and brain tumours.

Lockdown changed the way we interact, with unprecedented screen time in order to study, work, relax and shop! Flexible working patterns meant we could forego the usual 9-5 and put in the hours around other commitments. We’ve all heard the 20:20:20 advice: take a screen break every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, focusing the eyes on something 20 feet away. Putting it into practice requires effort, but it’s a good habit to get into.

Dry eye syndrome can be a result of our health and lifestyle, including screen time. Symptoms can be mild or get more severe. What does dry eye feel like? As the name suggests, eyes feel very dry (when was the last time you blinked? As we get older, we blink less, meaning we are more prone to this condition). Eyes can be bloodshot, and vision may be blurred. Severe dry eye feels like an eyelash or piece of grit permanently in the eye. At its worst, it’s a sharp stabbing pain, and sensitivity to light is immense. Left untreated, it can impact your vision. Steroid eye drops are usually administered to treat the problem.

Here are five tips to help keep your eyes in tip-top condition.

  • Avoid dry eyes by taking regular breaks from the screen and make sure your computer screen is positioned at the correct height and angle to reduce eye strain.
  • Use preservative-free drops to keep eyes lubricated, and remember to blink!
  • Drink plenty of water to rehydrate the body.
  • If you’re a contact lens wearer, try not to wear them every day and not exceed 12 hours wearing time. If you use eye drops, ensure they are compatible with contact lenses. Lenses have advanced massively in terms of their material and lubrication, with daily disposables being the best option, but remember to take a break!
  • If you wear glasses, choose lenses that reduce glare. New blue-light prevention glasses can also prevent mental and physical fatigue.

Health problems like dry eye syndrome can cause stress and worry. Look after your eyes and remember to take regular screen breaks.