The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives in a variety of ways. The stark reality is that the coronavirus crisis has even affected the way and manner many of us care for (and use) our eyes. There are some specific strategies you should consider employing when it comes to your eye care and eye health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact Lenses and COVID-19
Early on during the coronavirus health crisis, a considerable number of news reports indicated that people should abandon their contacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. As infectious disease experts and eye doctors continue to have a better understanding of COVID-19, there no longer is a general recommendation that people need to stop wearing contacts to protect their health.
With that said, contact lens wearers must be extremely diligent in precisely following all cleaning and storage protocols recommended by your eye doctor. You must never touch your eyes unless you’ve first thoroughly washed your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Computer Usage and Eye Health
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people spent a considerable amount of time in front of computers and similar screens. Since the inception of stay-at-home directives, remote working, and social distancing more generally, an ever-increasing number of people are using computers and similar devices with greater frequency.
Heavy use of computers, laptops, smartphones, and other devices can cause serious eye strain and other issues. An effective way of lessening eye strain while devoting more time to facing a screen is to observe the 20-20-20 rule:
- Take a break every 20 minutes.
- At a minimum, look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds.
- Focus your eyes on an object about 20 feet away.
Remember to Blink
Certainly, blinking is an automatic function. Blinking is vital to keep your eyes appropriately lubricated and healthy. With that said, extensive use of devices with screens and even the television can result in what can be described as a blink-less stare. Make certain you blink slowly, deliberately when working in front of a screen to ensure optimal eye lubrication.
Your Eyes and Your Sleep
You need to take extra care to maintain your overall health and sense of wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes obtaining proper sleep. In order to enhance the prospect for a good night’s sleep, you should stop using devices with screens 30 to 60 minutes before you turn in. Research has shown that visible blue light from device screens can interfere as well as delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle.
If you’re in need of eye care, or if you have questions about caring for your eyes during COVID-19, the eye doctors at Matossian Eye Associates are eager to assist you. You can schedule a telehealth eye care consultation with one of our eye doctors by calling (800) 708-8800 or by visiting our website.