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Our Eyes: The risks of digital strain

Today I got up with tired and dry eyes.

The first thing I experienced was an extreme sense of guilt of knowing that even after 8 hrs of rest, I have tired and strained my eye so much that the all night rest wasn't enough for the most delicate muscle of the body. I needed to take immediate action.

Immediately, I drank two glasses of water to hydrate myself, then grated a cucumber to put on a cooling eye mask, did "trataka kriya", then some eye exercises and closed it with the warmth from the rub of my hands.

This got me thinking onto the amount of strain we put into our eyes every day, every night, day in, day out. A large portion of my work is on my laptop, most of my meetings are on zoom, I take a break with watching TV and have been going to bed with a kindle book!

Which all got me into doing some early morning research into the structure of the eye.

Structure of the eye: The eye is made up of three coats - the outer most layer, composed of the optically clear aqueous humour, the middler layer, has the maximum supply of blood - it contains the iris and the lens , and the innermost layer has the vitreous body. Light rays from the objects in front of us, passes through the lens of the eye and makes an inverted image at the end of the middle most layer, which is connected to the optimcal nerve, sending signals to the brain which interprets the images and helps us see and understand the world around.

The lens is the fascinating component of our eyes. imagine a flexible lens controlled by two muscles on both end, that pull it to help us see long distance images, and squeeze it for short distance images. The lens has to keep changing shape based on the distance of objects in front of us, so images can be formed at the same position at the back of the eye.

In situations when we keep looking at the screen, which is at a distance of less than 30cm from the eye, the eye lens is in the squeeze state. Imagine being squeezed for a constant 10-12hrs a day, with minimal blinking. It can really fatigue the muscles and reduce their elasticity to be able to pull up to see long distance images. Not changing the field of view also leads to less blood flow to the eyes, as there is limited change in state. When we exercise the blood towards that body part increases significantly.

So, if there is one lesson for me today, is that the eyes need constant break. I am shifting my table next to a window, so I can look far out to the clouds for inspirations and then bring it back to my laptop!

Have a great day!

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