October 14 this year will mark the observance of the World Sight Day. Every second Thursday of October is dedicated to this global initiative that focuses on the issue of eye health. On this World Sight Day, let’s take a look at the impact that the pandemic had on eye health and also find out about the steps to follow for eye care:
While concerns for eye health has always been there, the Covid-19 situation has aggravated the issues significantly. Owing to the pandemic, there have been many drastic changes in our lifestyle which have added to the stress (both personal and work-related), led to sedentary lifestyle, reduced outdoor time and impacted health including eyes.
The latest research revealed that there have been a prominent vision-based indicators of Covid-19. The virus can spread through the eyes, just as much as it can through mouth and nose.
Some of the issues include:
- Pink eye infection (conjunctivitis)
- Soreness of eyes
- Eye fatigue
- Increased cases of myopia in school-aged children post lockdown
Some ways to protect your eye health:
1. i. Refrain from rubbing your eyes with hands without washing. Always sanitize your hands, and do not touch eyes with bare hands in public places as well. Use a tissue if you feel an irresistible urge to rub the eyes.
ii. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap or handwash.
iii. Use face shield in public places, if possible.
2. Switch to glasses if you are wearing contact lenses. As the virus spreads through touch on contaminated surfaces, refrain from wearing lens. This is because if lens wearers touch the eyes unknowingly, it would increase the chances of eye irritation.
3. Do eye exercises like palming, flexing, focusing near and far, figure of eight and give your eyes break from the laptop, mobile and TV screens.
4. Have a balanced diet, practice clean eating and follow a sleep routine. Don’t use mobile phones, tablets, laptops 45 minutes before bedtime to avoid the light that can cause eye disorder due to prolonged use; and eventually lead to vision impairment in the long run.