Today I share with you an interesting nugget which many of you might not have an idea about. Before the invention of television, computer, Internet, smartphone and entire paraphernalia attached to the digital life, sources of information and knowledge were quite different. Books, encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines and such other printed sheets were the main source of information and knowledge. All in hard copies, since there was no concept of soft copy by then. We at the CSR, for instance, used to note down all important developments of the day from newspapers on a daily basis, go to libraries including our own to consult books and encyclopedias to collect, collate and add background and perspectives to them before presenting a concise compendium for you to better prepare for competitive examinations. We still do it but digital world has made it much easier now.
Digital life has come with its own perils. Wearing specs before the age of 40 or 50 was an extreme rarity in those days. But today I see many youngsters wearing specs all around me. Do you know ‘who’ is paying the price for whatever advantages the digital life has brought to us? It is no one else but our eyes. In this age of technology, we live in a world where our screens have become our closest friends. But aside from the positives of our devices, there are also tons of negatives that we rarely talk about. One that makes a huge impact on our bodies is the strain that screen-time puts on one of our most important organs, our eyes.
This screen-time is the newest enemy of our eyes. Our eyes have already been sensitive and prone to all sorts of dust and allergy as they are mostly left naked. Moreover, pandemic has forced people to stay indoors. Many are working remotely from home and children are pursuing online classes. This all has resulted in increased digital-screen usage for extended period. Children’s eyes are at a higher risk of suffering vision-related problems since they are still in the developing stage. Adolescents who grew up using digital devices and people working on computers all day also face a high amount of such risk.
Amidst all this, you must not forget that eyes are the most sensitive of all our organs. Excessive use of technology—computers, smartphones, tablets, television, video games, fitbits, GPS devices and other gadgets—is likely to expose our eyes to dangers such as Computer Vision Syndrome and digital eye strain, defined as a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time and the eye’s muscles being unable to recover from the constant tension required to maintain focus on a close object.
However, instead of focusing on problem, I would like to bring to your notice some preventive measures that can help relieve your eyes from excessive strain. First, you must wear an anti-reflective coating glass to shed off strain from the eye while using digital devices for a longer period of time. Second, try and blink your eyes frequently to keep them clean and lubricated. Third, adjust brightness of your gadget in accordance with the level of strain on your eyes.
Fourth, avoid sitting against the light source. Fifth, sit at an arm’s length from the screen and place it below the eye level. Sixth, resting the eyes and taking frequent breaks to relax the ocular muscles is very important. Last but not least,
follow and exercise the 20:20:20 rule to prevent eye strain. Designed by Californian optometrist, Mr. Jeffery Anshel, this rule says that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, a person should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. When you take a 20-second break from looking at a screen every 20 minutes and during the break focus on an object 20 feet away, you give a precious chance to your eye muscles to relax. So, set an alarm for every 20 minutes while working as a reminder to take a break and look out of a window focusing on a tree or building or lamp-post across the street during the 20-second break. With all the wishes for your eyes to remain ever healthy, strain-free and beautiful, I extend warm greetings for a professionally rewarding New Year 2022.