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Computer Vision Syndrome: Eye Strain Caused By Prolonged Screen Viewing

The Kashmir Monitor

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Computers have become an integral part of everyone’s life. They have made things so much fast and simple but have brought with them new problems related to the eyes. These problems affect all those who spend a significant time working on the computers everyday.

However, these computer related eye problems are mostly due to our own wrong habits. I call this cluster of problems e-pain (which may mean electronic / eye pain) which is also called Computer Vision Syndrome.

What are the problems?

 

Pain Redness

Watering

Headache

Fatigue

Irritability

Poor Concentration

Pain and eye strain being so common among the computer users that it would be appropriate to call this cluster of computer related eye problems: e-Pain.

What causes these problems?

An understanding of what causes these symptoms can help us take appropriate preventive steps. It is important to know that computer monitors do not emit any harmful rays or radiations (monochrome or color). The causes of the trouble are:

Constantly gazing at a near distance (at the monitor)

Decreased rate of blinking

Convergence Fatigue:

When we look at a near object both our eyes move towards each other (converge) to fixate at the target. Prolonged viewing of the monitor at close distance leads to fatigue of convergence and its weakness / insufficiency. This consequently leads to eye strain, pain and headache.

Infrequent Blinking:

Decreased rate of blinking while working on computers leads to instability of the tear film of the eyes. This leads to feeling of dryness, irritation, redness and a reflex watering from the eyes.

What is the solution?

There is no single magic remedy for this problem. Following set of measures can be undertaken together to get relief:

Proper Visual Hygiene:

Monitor should be placed about 2-3 feet from the eyes (or at the farthest comfortable distance).

Do not gaze constantly at the monitor for long duration.

Take your eyes off the screen every 5-10 minutes. Every half an hour or so close your eyes for 1-2 minutes to give them rest.

Every hour or so take a 5 minutes break (go for a stroll or run some errand).

Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently.

Avoid sitting in front of an air conditioner facing its air draft while working on computer.

Convergence Exercises

Regular eye exercise can help prevent the problems caused by working on computers or even heavy reading or writing work.
These exercises are advised for all computer professionals, students, office workers, etc.

Sit on a chair upright and look at a far off small object.

Then hold out a pen at level with your eyes at an arm’s length and look at its tip.

Gradually bring the pen close to your eyes to a point where you feel a mild strain on your eyes. The tip of the pen should remain clear and single in appearance. Hold the pen in this position for about half a minute and then again gradually take it back to an arms length. Hold it here again for about half a minute, and then again bring the pen close to your eyes.

Repeat above step 10 times and then again look the far off small object. Again repeat the whole sequence.

In the beginning this exercise should be done for 5-10 minutes just once a day in the morning at a time when you are fresh and rested. After one week it should be increased to twice daily and after two weeks thrice a day. Avoid doing the exercise when you are tired or are having pain in eyes or headache. In the initial period when you begin exercising the pain in the eyes and headache may increase, but this should not discourage you. As you continue the exercise you will gradually feel relief from the symptoms over 2-3 weeks.

Continue the exercise for 2 months to build good eye muscle strength and reserves power.

Lubricant Eye Drops

Lubricant eye drops instilled 3-4 times a day help in soothing the eyes and relieving irritation and redness. Many preparations are available in the market e.g. Tears Plus, Hypotears Plus, Moss, Moisol, etc. Although allergy or reactions to these eye drops are uncommon yet one should be careful in using them, and if they cause any irritation, redness or swelling of the eyes they should be immediately discontinued. It is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist before using any eye medicines.

Anti-glare glasses do not provide any relief.


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Health

These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!

The Kashmir Monitor

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Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.

Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.

Try these healthy breakfast options right now!

 

1. Stuffed rotis

Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.

2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita

Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.

3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati

Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.

4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi

Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.

(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)

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Health

5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter

The Kashmir Monitor

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Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.

Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter

Turmeric latte:

 

Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.

Ginger, honey, lemon tea:

Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.

Hot mulled cider:

All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.

Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:

Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.

Vanilla-almond steamer:

Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.

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Health

Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests

The Kashmir Monitor

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Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.

Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.

According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.

 

The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.

According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.

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