If you have felt increased screen time is doing a number on your eyes and potentially contributing to digital eye strain, a survey shows you're not alone. Findings show that 80 per cent of respondents say pandemic-prompted screen time put their eyes in "overdrive".
In fact, two-thirds of respondents report experiencing some degree of eye discomfort every day and nearly a quarter say their eyes feel worse now than they did a year ago. All that is adding up to a new sense of urgency: 90 per cent say it's important to take care of their eyes -- starting now.
The VSP Vision Care survey also found that a quarter say their eyes feel worse now than before the pandemic.
Also, Read► Boost Your Well-Being While in Isolation
Over half of the respondents report looking at a computer most of the day, every day, say the findings, adding that nearly 2 in 3 experience some degree of eye discomfort on a daily basis. Eighty per cent would be willing to schedule routine computer breaks to relieve digital eye strain, while roughly 1 in 5 prioritise paying regular visits to the eye doctor.
In the survey, more than half of respondents defined a "digital detox" as a break from screen time. However, there are other ways to relieve your eyes other than stepping away from screens completely:
Finding relief from digital eye strain: Digital eye strain can occur from prolonged and frequent use of screens, which engages our near vision, and exposes us to the blue light emitted by screens. Symptoms can appear as watery, dry, sore eyes, blurred vision and headaches. Although around 65 per cent report experiencing eye discomfort on a daily basis, half of Americans sometimes miss their annual exam or never go, according to the survey.
Even if you have perfect vision, prolonged screen time -- pandemic-related or not -- can tire out your eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor may suggest a computer lens or a blue light-reducing, anti-reflective lens coating that can help reduce your exposure and combat digital eye strain. If you don't wear prescription glasses, non-prescription lenses with a blue light-reducing, anti-reflective coating can be used.
In the 20-20-20 rule, where every 20 minutes, you take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away. This will help to reset your focus and help your eyes feel less fatigued due to digital eye strain. Blinking more frequently also helps to relieve discomfort by moistening your eyes.
Keeping an eye out for kids: The survey found that more than half of parents are worried about the effects of their children's increased screen time. Men are more likely than women to be worried about their children's eyes and, when it comes to millennial dads, 6 in 10 are concerned about their children's vision due to increased screen time.
Eye care is health care, and through a comprehensive eye exam, an eye doctor can detect early signs of serious health conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
Read More► Protect Yourself Against The Summer Sun
New York, May 18 (IANS) A team of US researchers has, in an alarming study, found direct evidence that Covid-19 can infect cells in the eye.SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is thought to transmit and begin infection in the upper respiratory tract. For this reason, the use of face masks has been recommended for the general public.However, the new study by the Mount Sinai Hospital researchers found that cells in the eye can be directly infected by SARS-CoV-2. While aerosol transmission is thought to be the primary route of spread, viral particles have been detected in ocular fluid suggesting the eye may be a vulnerable point of viral entry.The findings showed that SARS-CoV-2 can infect surface cells of the eye. The exposed cells revealed the presence of infection-associated proteins including ACE2 -- the virus receptor -- and TMPRSS2 -- an enzyme which allows viral entry. IFN-beta -- a protein that has antiviral and antibacterial properties -- was also found to be suppressed from the exposure to the virus.In addition, the researchers found that ocular surface cells, particularly the limbus, were susceptible to infection, while the central cornea was less vulnerable."We hope this new data results in additional measures to protect the eyes. We also intend to use these models to test approaches to prevent ocular infections," said Timothy Blenkinsop, Assistant Professor, at Mount Sinai.The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, has an immediate impact on preventive measures to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and support new guidance for eye protection that can be instituted worldwide. It also highlights the importance of washing hands, as rubbing one's eyes should now be viewed as an entry point for infection, the researchers said.For the study, the team examined adult human eyes in an in vitro stem cell model. The donor cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then analysed through RNA sequencing. The sequences were then mapped to the human genome and compared to non-infected control cells from adult tissues.The expression of the exposed cell was then evaluated. The study also evaluated whether SARS-CoV-2 could infect both tissues and primary cells in the eye.--IANSrvt/vd
<br>Leadership of the Civil Services advises the policy makers and also coordinates implementation of the Government's decisions. The matter of whether inputs provided by it to the political masters were duly considered, cannot be easily fathomed but it can be rationally believed that 'wise counsels' would be rarely disregarded. In the context of the corona pandemic, it is logical that the health experts would receive prime attention but this would not be considered as something happening outside of the system led by the top bureaucracy.In the final analysis, therefore, the fact that there were major roadblocks in the implementation of the policy decisions taken in regard to the production, transportation and distribution on the ground of all resources vital for the handling of the crisis, calls for a quick examination for corrective actions -- both punitive as well as those meant for augmentation. This national level challenge is of long range and it is never too late to make up for the shortcomings and shortages revealed so far -- a lasting plan of action it is hoped will be framed expeditiously.Traditionally it is the Cabinet Secretary, the topmost bureaucrat of the Government of India dealing with state governments, who provides the administrative umbrella under which all lines of flow of vital data from the states -- these would cut across the ministries handling different subjects -- and channels of directions going down to authorities on the ground, would operate. Both Cabinet Secretary and Home Secretary, who administered the National Disaster Management Act, are the top leaders of the IAS, the famed Civil Service of India and they realised that the district administration headed by the DM-SP duo was best placed to implement a national plan in its jurisdiction since these officials on the ground were also in seamless communication with the Centre and the State headquarters on all matters of national importance.The young IAS and IPS officers manning the district are the natural nodal points for both sending up information of the district and executing a directive in their area. The DM has senior officers looking after health, education and public distribution in the district and it would be possible for him or her to send up in quick time a map of the district showing the number of hospitals big or small with bed capacity, quantity of oxygen cylinders in the district with production potential if any and the location of vaccination centres there. Logistics of despatch of emergency supplies would be smoothened by this first step since even airlifts could be considered for rushing the supplies to state or divisional headquarters for onward movement by road to the needy districts. There is no establishment big or small, in public or private sector, which would not give correct information to the DM in public interest. The SP would step in to prevent smuggling or black marketing of essential supplies and keep the crime situation under control -- the corona pandemic has enlarged the incidence of local crime because of 'restrictions' and the 'desperation' of the people in economic distress. As a policy of governance, India needs to go back to the districts -- there is no politics involved in this.A second revelation in this crisis has been of the cumulative malady of lack of accountability of the heads of any public service establishments existing closer to the people. It is seen that the crisis in a hospital -- which happened to be part of a big chain -- was being explained by the chairman of that business enterprise and not by the superintendent or the CEO of that individual centre. Decentralisation of accountability cannot go with centralisation of decision making -- what happened at the hospital front was rooted in the deadly combination of profiteering and internal corruption, reflected in the stories of ward boys arranging oxygen cylinders from the back door, and lack of fear of punishment. All through the ongoing national crisis not one wrongdoer at any level has been hauled up which itself is a commentary on governance. The nation must inculcate the psyche amongst the heads of establishments and enterprises that they were to govern them in an autonomous but transparent mode -- be it a university, a hospital, a public distribution centre, an employment bureau or a licensing authority. Oversight of the district administration is extremely important in ensuring that this happened.Finally, a learning for the present as also for the future is that we must be aware of the new expectations the pandemic has created in the public mind about the performance of our law and order authorities. A health disaster is a national concern and it is testing the fundamental role of the police of helping the distressed and coming down hard on law breakers who were exploiting the situation for personal benefits. High-handed treatment of hospital staff towards an ordinary patient to favour somebody else -- all within the knowledge of the local police -- recovery of hoarded oxygen cylinders and vaccines without any arrests in the follow-up and harassment of vendors by the constabulary during the restrictions, could produce a multiplier effect in generating an anti-police environ. Pressing into use police resources for helping the desperate citizens would go a long way in correcting that situation. The police machinery may also have to remain prepared for anticipating any mass protests or resort to public violence by some desperate people in the event of the present crisis getting prolonged beyond a point. The pandemic highlights the people's expectations of a constructive role of the police as a guardian of the society.In a bid to mop up every resource for handling the unprecedented corona crisis, the Government of India has moved to tap the Army's known efficacy for taking up a challenge -- even in the civilian sector -- and given special financial powers to the Commanders to manage hospitals, oxygen manufacturing plants and logistic issues. This is being done as the civilian machinery is overwhelmed by the demands of the pandemic. The army is used to coming in aid of the civil administration in countering manmade threats like terrorism and it is not abnormal that it has been invited to step in for handling a natural disaster like the corona emergency.The learning from this is that the nation must, while emphasising on the creation of infrastructure, get on with the business of building adequate medical infrastructure as well -- with private partnership wherever possible -- and generate jobs for medical and paramedical trainees. In this country there will always be a demand for hospitals and nursing homes and these will be financially self-sufficient, even though they might not generate 'business like' profits. The policy framework for India has to be a healthy mix of 'free market' and 'welfare' approach. The pandemic has witnessed the political will of the leadership to take major decisions without losing time but it has certainly exposed the limitations of the machinery of execution down the line in coping up with a national challenge of this magnitude. The pandemic has tested decision making, coordination and delivery and has brought lessons to the government and the people alike on their respective share of responsibility in producing an integral non-political response to a national crisis.And yes, let me commend as a man of science that everybody must drink enough water because water is hydrogenated oxygen that reaches the cell through osmosis, jacking up the oxygen level and take to deep breathing with emphasis on exhalation (to throw out carbon dioxide) that directly improves the access of oxygen to lungs. The moral of the story is that every citizen, not the government alone, has to contribute to the fight against the virus.(The writer is a former Director Intelligence Bureau)--IANS<br>pathak/am
Mumbai, May 4 (IANS) The Maharashtra Transport Department in collaboration with the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) state unit has fitted GPS devices to monitor the movement of oxygen tankers in the state, an official said here on Tuesday.From Monday, 250 oxygen tankers fitted with the GPS devices have enabled the Transport Department to keep 24X7 tabs on the vehicles on a single dashboard set up in the Transport Commissioner's office.The development came after FADA State Chairperson Amar Jatin Sheth met Transport Commissioner Avinash Dhakane and discussed the issues recently.Following Dhakane's recommendation, the FADA decided to arrange the GPS devices, roped in MOBO which has the technical knowhow and expertise and spent Rs 10 lakh for the venture.FADA president Vinkesh Gulati said the move would strengthen the hands of the state government at the height of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.It will also help save precious lives of patients by providing them with the lifesaving oxygen on time, and help the efficient management of tankers' movements, said Sheth.Dhakane appreciated the contribution of FADA and said the GPS fitted tankers would be able to do a quick turnaround and help save more peoples' lives.Maharashtra currently is the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of infections and deaths, though the situation is gradually improving, and there is a huge demand for oxygen among the patients.--IANSqn/sdr/
Gurugram- Doctors in Gurugram district say online classes and work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is causing eye and ear problems among children, adolescents and young adults.
Doctors have warned that this could lead to hearing and eye difficulties among those who failed to curb the use of earphones, mobile phones and laptops.
However, the doctors also asserted that one other reason which causes hearing problems is the noise pollution in Gurugram.
Rahul Garg, Head of RG Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Hospital, said lifestyle choices lead to more cases of hearing and eye impairment than age-related factors.
"Before the Covid-19 pandemic, a few patients used to visit hospitals/clinics who were developing hearing problems after Diwali last year due to firecrackers but amid Covid-19, a number of patients from all age groups are visiting doctors' clinics due to hearing problems and eye infection complications."
Garg pointed out that all these complaints are directly linked to extensive use of headphones at higher volume, mobile and laptops.
The doctor said the continued use of earphones, mobiles and laptops at high volume is leading to such problems among people.
"120 decibels is harmful for ears and 140 decibels can permanently damage our ears. Any noise more than 100 decibels can impact the physical as well as the mental health of our body," Garg said, adding that adults can set the volume of earphones or headphones but children don't know to set the volume of earphones which causes hearing problems.
ENT Specialist Yogesh Goyal said, "Multiple people are working for more than eight hours wearing headphones and in front of laptops. This is putting a lot of stress on their ears and unsterilised earbuds or ear-plugs could spread infection."
Goyal advises removing the earphones from time-to-time in order to allow fresh air to go inside the ears. He said school children should not be using headphones at all. If they are attending classes on a laptop or personal computers, then the device volume is sufficient.
The doctors also suggest that the concerned authorities should strictly tackle noise polluters who are responsible for noise pollution. The traffic police should increase the use of audio meters which help to catch noise polluters.
D.K. Bhardwaj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), informed that 326 challans were issued for pressure honking and 291 fines were issued for removal of silencer from motorbikes and other vehicles in 2020.
"We will not tolerate anyone in Gurugram who breaks traffic rules. The Traffic police from time-to-time has launched various campaigns to catch traffic violators. I would like to appeal to the motorists in Gurugram to follow traffic rules across the district or be ready to face hefty traffic fines," Bhardwaj said. (Agency)
Hyderabad, Jan 24 (IANS) The Covid-19 pandemic should serve as an eye-opener for the government to increase allocation for the health sector in the Union Budget 2020-21, feel representatives from the sector.Pointing out that the pandemic exposed the "shortcomings" in the India healthcare system, they have urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hike the allocation in the Budget to be presented in Parliament on February 1.According to them, the pandemic posed a serious threat to the healthcare system and consequently to the supply chain of medicines and materials used for the care of those affected. They believe that the situation has forced everyone to think about the money India spends to strengthen its healthcare sector.Sitharaman had allocated Rs 69,000 crore or 1.28 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for health in the last fiscal. However, the situation India faced due to the health emergency exposed the shortcomings of the healthcare sytem.Doctors and health professionals appealed to the government and to the Finance Minister to increase allocations to ensure healthcare reaches all sections of society, both urban and rural."I sincerely hope the Minister increases allocations to the health sector in the 2021-22 Budget, and a major portion of this allocation must be spent to strengthen primary healthcare and improve the quality of healthcare delivery mechanism. India needs better healthcare facilities which will work towards improving the economy. Covid-19 pandemic must work as an eye-opener to increase Budget allocations for the health sector," said Dr Guru N Reddy, founder and director, Continental Hospitals."Not just an increase in financial allocations, India must focus on skill development and training of the workforce to ensure better delivery of healthcare services in the country. Increased funding will help in improving preparedness to manage uncertain situations arising out of emergencies," said Dr Mervin Leo, Cluster COO, Gleneagles Global Hospitals.Dr Rahul Medakkar, COO, Care Hospitals-Banjara Hills, said that in addition to increase in allocations, the government must consider the option of giving enhanced tax incentives for individuals and groups who intend to invest in the health sector."One major lesson learnt from the pandemic is the need to establish epidemiology units at all districts in the country, and this is possible only when more investment comes into the sector. The government should also consider to set up infectious diseases units in all hospitals which require unique design considerations and isolation strategies."The health professionals are of the view that the Indian healthcare budget is directionally sound but is inadequate in view of the vastness of our country. The sector remains underfunded, and this continues to reflect on the short-term fixes at the expense of building a robust health system over a longer period of time. The glaring mismatch between allocation and desired outcome make it unclear how the government proposes to achieve what it claims to have budgeted for, they added.--IANSms/tsb