Let’s agree. COVID-19 has indeed changed our lifestyles in unimaginable ways - how we work, cook, work out - why even our eating and sleep routines.

And while much has been written, said and discussed about all these aspects, the young population is tackling significant changes in their own world - that of how they study.

The new academic year has started. And the indefinite closure of primary educational institutions and higher-level universities, in India and across the globe, has shifted knowledge transfer and acquisition, from a traditional classroom setting to entirely virtual gatherings.
online classes and how to reduce digital strain on eyes

Even though this has facilitated the continuity of learning for school and college students, the downside of increased screen time is the mounting cases of eye ailments.

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Common Eye Complaints In Youngsters:

Nowadays, ophthalmologists and paediatricians from many countries are reporting an alarming rise in vision-linked health anomalies amongst the youth, both kids and teenagers alike. These include eye fatigue, dryness, reddening, inflammation, computer vision syndrome and blurring, in addition to trouble focusing clearly on farther objects i.e. myopia. Also Read: Myopia – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Medical professionals at the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend zero minutes of digital activity for babies below 2 years. Moreover, they suggest restricting browsing the internet to 1 hour for toddlers between 2 - 6 years and 2 hours for children aged 7 and above. It is equally vital for adolescents to limit time spent surfing the web, watching movies, or playing interactive games.

The eyes are the pair of sensory organs responsible for sight – a crucial role in all living systems and an invaluable gift to humankind. It is thus, of utmost importance, to take good care of these delicate body parts from a young age, to maintain optimal vision, particularly in the current challenging circumstances of lockdown and continuous online courses.

Here are some simple and effective methods to manage vision-allied disorders and conditions and foster augmented eyesight.

Useful Tips And Guidelines For Students To Safeguard Their Eyes While E-Learning:

Blinking Motions

People usually blink about 12 - 14 times in one minute. However, when engrossed while reading textbook chapters or watching educational videos on screen, the rate of blinking reduces tremendously, resulting in itchy, dry eyes.

Opening and closing the eyelids gently, for 10 times every 30 minutes, helps to moisten the exterior layers of the eyes with tear gland secretions, thereby preventing withering and irritation.

Palm Massage

Since laptops or tablets are placed quite close to the eyes while following e-tutorials, the eye muscles are stretched extensively, apart from being exposed to bright light for a prolonged period of time.

Pressing the palms against one another to generate some warmth and placing them on the eyelids is a wonderful exercise that reduces viewing strain and soothes the eyes.

Adequate Lighting

Although it is home, apart from a quiet room, with a comfortable study chair and desk, sufficient natural illumination is absolutely essential, for averting vision-related exhaustion.

The best solution for this is morning lessons, with loads of sunshine filtering in through the windows. And if enrolled for evening classes, avoid the glare from the white LED or fluorescent bulbs and opt for warm light sources instead.

Wholesome Diet

Needless to mention, eating right is imperative for the well-being of eyes, more so with limited physical activity and social interactions, having to stay indoors all day long.

Consuming nourishing foods rich in vitamin A, as well as carotenoid antioxidants, lutein, zeaxanthin, such as carrots, cabbages, mangoes, apples, melons, immensely supports visual functions. Also Read: World Glaucoma Week 2020: Easy & Delicious Recipes To Improve Your Vision

Distancing Devices

Looking closely at a monitor for lengthy phases leads to a gradual decline of the retina and optic nerve.

Make sure that electronics are kept at least 18 - 24 inches away from the eyes. Keep in mind to sit in an erect posture and place the device at eye level. Adjust the brightness and contrast settings of the gadget, to make viewing effortless and help preserve ocular operations.