It comes as a shock to see families and friends at a restaurant with all of them ‘busy’ on their mobile devices. In fact, there is a restaurant in Cape Town that offers a discount if no one uses a cell phone while dining there.
This may be surprising, but a worrying lockdown factor is the amount of time remote-working employees, learners and students are spending on computers and tablets. Fortunately, technology has allowed us to operate around the fact that restrictions have been placed on the workplace – and on attending formal learning institutions. Children, therefore, can keep abreast with the curriculum, remotely. This, however, does have a negative effect – and it’s all about monitoring time spent on digital devices.
Too often children are left to their own devices (pardon the pun). One can sympathise with the working parent and we understand it’s difficult juggling the many balls thrown at us each day. We had a good example of this when a client recently reported that his nine-year-old son had dark rings under his eyes. We asked the amount of time the youngster spent on a digital device – and then we saw the face of realisation…
We suggest you consider educating your children, so they are well informed regarding time spent on a digital device.
There is considerable controversy over the benefits of eye exercises. For centuries they have been promoted and yet there is little credible scientific evidence of the advantages.
Eye exercises, however, can help strained eyes feel better. Digital eye strain, common among those working at computers and tablets, can cause:
- dry eyes
- eye strain
- blurred vision
A few simple exercises may give your eyes some relief from these conditions. They are worth trying and it is recommended they be done while seated.
- Hold your pointer finger a few metres from your eye and focus on your finger.
- Slowly move your finger away from your face, holding your focus.
- Look away for a moment, into the distance.
- Focus on your outstretched finger and slowly bring it back toward your eye.
- Look away and focus on something in the distance.
- Repeat three times.
Focussing near and far
- Hold your thumb about 25cms from your face and focus on it for 15 seconds.
- Then focus on an object about three to six metres away, for 15 seconds.
- Focus again on your thumb.
- Repeat five times.
- Focus on a spot on the floor about six metres from you.
- Trace a figure eight with your eyes for about 30 seconds.
- Switch directions.
20-20-20 rule / 20-06-20
- Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet (six metres) away for 20 seconds.
Being eye-glued to a single object for extended periods of time is not the function of our eyes so, when on a computer or during any other ‘focused’ work for long sessions, eyes become strained. This exercise done consistently will help ease eye strain.
Eye exercises work the muscles of the eye and help change the focus. They will not change the basic shape of your eyeball or your cornea. They will not alter an astigmatism or change the natural ageing process.
For professional advice from a caring team, visit us in The Atrium Berea, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, in Overport.
We offer a safe, welcoming environment, follow all the Covid-19 health protocols – and implore you to follow good eye-care practices.