Our eyes are directly exposed to both sun and artificial lights, including “high-energy visible” or blue light, which is radiated from a phone, computer, television, and LED lighting. According to eye doctors, long-term exposure to blue light is a health concern.
Unlike UV rays from sunlight, which are mostly absorbed by the structure of our cornea and lens, blue light can reach all the way to our retina. This causes dry eyes, contributes to digital eye strain, and can damage the eyes, increasing the risk of visual conditions like cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. This is because damaging chemicals called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are released, causing our lens cells to become stiff and cloudy.
Also, blue light exposure at night, suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin, and disrupts our circadian clock, leaving us feeling alert instead of tired. Sunlight is a main source of blue light, and invisible ultraviolet rays that damage the eyes. Protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses, and blue light glasses, or using blue light blocking screens, is a must to have healthy, hydrated eyes. (Zhao et al., 2018).
Number 5. Regularly do eye exercises and rest your eyes.
In a study done in 2018, college students were instructed to do eye exercises, including palming, blinking, sideways, up and down, and rotational viewing, just twice a week for 2 months. As a result, the participants who did eye exercises had decreased eye fatigue, caused by prolonged exposure to digital screens, office and academic work, poor diet, and weak eye muscles.
You can do the 3 exercises we will mention, to decrease eye fatigue, eye irritation, dryness, burning, and poor or double vision.
1. Blinking: close your eyes and wait for 2 seconds and repeat. This can activate oil glands in the eyelids, so they can provide lubrication and hydration for your eyes.
2. Moving eyes: move your eyes up and down, side to side, rotate and rest in between each, and then repeat the cycle.
3. Palming: warm your hands by rubbing your hands, and then placing over your eyes, and breathing deeply; this can relax your eyes. Do these 3 exercises 5 minutes for each, then importantly don’t skip to rest your eyes to relax them.
4. Focusing on near and far object: focus on object1 replaced 10 inches or 25 cm far from your face for 15 seconds. Then focus on object2 20 feet away for 15 seconds, and repeat the cycle.
5. Figure Eight: Focus on the floor 10 feet far from you; draw eight with your eyes for 30 seconds, and do the same with drawing eight backward. Repeat each exercise for 5 minutes, then close your eyes to relax your eye muscles.
Also, you should regularly rest your eyes throughout the day. Use the 20-20-20 rule. Look at a target 20 feet away for 20 seconds, after 20 minutes of near work, in which you focus and work on the computer or book, and repeat (8 Easy Eye Exercises To Improve Vision: Techniques and Tips | Kraff Eye Institute, no date)(Kim, 2016).