Easter, this year in Canberra, is different. We are all advised to stay home and limit travel to only if necessary. Most of us aren’t going to spend our Easter long weekend down the coast this year. Instead, staying at home and binge eating Easter eggs! Despite our reduced clinical hours for this month, here are a few tips on looking after your eyes and when you need to see your optometrist in Canberra.
Increased Screen-Time and Reading
A considerable proportion of the workforce is now working from home. Those who aren’t working at home are advised to stay at home. You will soon realise (if not already) you will be spending more time in front of the computer screen or TV with your favourite Netflix programme. We are staying connected to our friends and family using technologies on our phone and computer. You might notice you’re reading a bit more, going through more books per week than you usually would.
All this extra reading and screen time can lead to eye fatigue or eye strain; a similar feeling you experience after a gym workout. Common symptoms of eye strain and eye fatigue can include light headaches, blurry vision, uncomfortable vision and in very severe cases, watery, gritty eyes causing eyes to become dry and red.
Not everyone suffers from eye strain. Not everyone suffers from eye strain to the same degree. You may be more prone to eye strain than others; how your eyes are aligned naturally, your vision whether you need prescription glasses for computer screens and reading, or, the flexibility of the muscles of your eyes to adjust and focus on different distances.
You can reduce your chances of getting eye strain during this Easter by taking regular breaks. Just as taking routine breaks after reps during a gym workout, taking a break from the screen or your book would give your eyes a chance to relax and recalibrate. You’ve probably heard of the 20-20-20 rule; which means every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Personally, I find taking a 5 – 10-minute break from computer work or reading every 1 hour of work is adequate and easier to comply. It also gives you the chance to get up, walk around the house and grab some fresh air.
You may begin to feel that your eyes are irritated. This is especially more apparent when we turn on our heat pump for the first time during these occasional cold nights. Our heating and airconditioning system alters the humidity of the air. This may make your eyes drier than usual, making them feel irritated.
A simple solution to manage symptoms of dry eyes is to use artificial lubricants over the counter your pharmacy, or your optometrist in Canberra. Your optometrist would be the best person to get advice on which eye drops you need and often would have the ones you need in stock for you to take on the day. Simple dry eyes issues can be managed using non-prescription eye drops; however, if your problem persists, then a full dry-eye evaluation is recommended. At Capital Eye, we have the latest diagnostic equipment and treatment options to manage the full spectrum of the dry eye disease. Contact us to find out more about our dry eye consultations, and how it could benefit you.
Diet and Eye Health
With all these Easter eggs we are going to go through this weekend at home, we need to be aware of how this can impact your eye health long-term. Transient spikes in blood sugar levels can affect your vision in a similar way to diabetes. It is unlikely that Easter eggs are going to cause any concerns for your vision, but, if you feel your vision is affected, it could be a sign of pre-diabetes. You should consider visiting your optometrist in Canberra to rule out any other causes, in conjunction with the advice from your GP.
The Bottom Line
Stay safe this Easter. Although we are limiting our clinical capacity during these uncertain times, we can attend to your eye care needs. Contact us if you have any concerns with your vision. Our optometry clinic is locally less than 10 minutes from Manuka, Griffith and Kingston with plenty of off-road parking.