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Habits Which Are Harming The Eye

With the changing world, our habits are continuously changing. Gone are the days when you would wake up early in the morning and go outdoors for many hours and sleep early. Our diet consisted of mustard oil, non refined grains etc. Now we spend much more time in front of the television, computer screens and mobile phones. Our diet, habits and routines have all changed. Along with this change, the requirements and exposure of our eyes is very different now.  

There are a number of things we do without knowing that it is harming our eyes:
1. Too much screen time. Our eyes were made to look at different distances and blink often. This made the eyes work and relax alternately and blinking kept them moist and relaxed. Staring at a screen continuously makes our eyes work all the time and go into spasm. Poor blinking when staring at the screens causes drying of our eyes.

2. Diet poor in omega 3 fatty acids. We used to have a lot of mustard oil, flax seeds (alsi ke beej) which are very rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Now we have replaced these with refined oil which is rich in omega 6 fatty acid. This change has caused a lot of drying and inflammation of our eyes.

3. High speed fans and air conditioners cause the atmospheric humidity to decrease and along with the fans causes drying of our eyes. 

4. Pollution and dust exposure causes inflammation in our eyes which leads to lowering the tear production, redness and tiredness of the eyes

5. Not going for regular eye checkups: Many diseases of the eye have no treatment- like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy etc. But they can be managed if diagnosed on time. Most of us do not get our eyes checked unless we have a problem which means that these are diagnosed in the last stage where proper treatment is not possible.

6. Exposing our eyes to direct sunlight. Sunlight contains UV light which over time leads to damage of the eye surface, causes cataract and age related retinopathy. All these can be reduced by wearing UV protective glasses when exposed to sunlight.

7. Sleeping with the contact lenses or not washing hands before dealing with the contact lenses. This causes eye infections and permanent damage to the eyes.

Dr. Prashaant Chaudhry
Senior Consultant & HOD

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