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Oki Doc
The Oki Doc page is an advisory column on health issues. Let Dr. Conrado Oca share his views on health issues among seafarers and their families.


Dear Doc Oca,

My eyes are getting tired all the time I’m working.  Sometimes, I experience headaches and I believe this has something to do with my eyes.  I just want to ask for some tips on how to keep my eyes healthy.  My work will suffer if I will not be able to take care of my eyes.  I hope you can help me with my concern.

Thank you in advance doc! More power!

Elbert

 

 

Dear Elbert,

I understand that if your work requires you to stay in front of the computer the whole working day, your eyes will really get tired.  If have never consulted a doctor yet, uncorrected vision problem may also be one of the causes.  If, for an instance, you’re wearing glasses, probably the lenses no longer suit your eyes. 

I suggest you consult a doctor personally.  Medications may be given to you in solution to your eye problem. 

Eat what is good for you and your eyes. The good news is that there are no foods that would be harmful for your eyes. Most foods don't affect your eyesight at all, although the right vitamins and minerals are helpful. Recent studies have shown that vitamins of the antioxidant group can prevent, or at least slow down, age-related conditions like macular degeneration and the development of cataracts. So a healthy diet won't restore eyesight that is already lost, but it can definitely slow down the process of the disease, or prevent one from starting.

Vitamins C, A and E, folic acid, selenium and zinc are definitely beneficial for the health of your eyes. The effects of the other vitamins and minerals aren't determined yet, but it seems likely that they affect your eyesight as well. Thousand-page books have been written on the topic of nutrition for eye health but, to summarize, it is known that whatever is good for your body is good for your eyes, too. So put a carrot and a bunch of grapes into your lunch box.

When you read or work on the computer make sure that the light is right. It is a common knowledge that working with poor light can cause eyestrain, but light that is too bright can do as much damage. Keep your blinds down on sunny days and switch off half of the household lights, if possible. The best lighting for working on the computer is a soft desk light, coming from the side. Also, you can try decreasing the brightness of your monitor. The colors won't be so vivid, but your eyes will feel much better by the end of the day.

Give your eyes a health break. The great invention of the 20th century -- computers -- is not so great from the point of view of health. Almost everybody feels discomfort in their eyes after peering at a computer screen all day long. This is because people blink about 25% less often then usual, while working at the computer, which causes eye dryness. I won't advise you to blink more often -- it is almost impossible to control natural reflexes. One thing you can do, though, is close your eyes and count to 5 before opening them, whenever your computer decides to take its sweet time doing something. Another thing is to look away from the screen and focus on some faraway object, as often as possible. If you train yourself into the habit, your eyes should feel much better at the end of your working day.

 

 

 

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