It is estimated that 49.1 million people in the world are blind and 2.2 billion people suffer from near or distance vision impairment. Singapore is sometimes labelled as the myopia capital of the world, with 65 percent of our children being myopic by Primary 6 and 83 percent of our young adults being myopic.
With the pandemic increasing our daily screen time due to extended periods of staying indoors, proper eye care has become even more important.
In commemoration of World Sight Day on 14 October 2021, here are five tips on how to maintain good eye health from Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), the world leader in lighting.
1. Use the correct type of light bulbs
We may not be paying enough attention to the type of lights used at home and at work. Exposure to harsh fluorescent lights can cause eye strain and harm our vision. A simple solution is to replace your fluorescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs as they do not flicker and also consume less energy.
It is also recommended to choose bulbs which don’t have harmful levels of blue, ultraviolet, or infrared light. LED bulbs which have a dimmable feature provide a simple way to adjust the light intensity but do choose quality LED lights that dim smoothly. This is because poor dimming can result in flickering or noise.
2. Know when to rest
Taking a short break every 30 minutes when you are working or studying allows your eyes to rest. With just a quick break for your eyes by looking out of the window at the greenery or if you have more time, go for a walk to rest your eyes. Avoid any screens or reading during this period to ensure optimal rest for your eyes. Possible 30-minute break activities include:
3. Bring nature indoors
Natural light has been proven to reduce stress while improving cognitive function, creativity, and well-being. This has made it a key component of biophilic design – the concept of bringing nature indoors by including nature in interior design.
To bring more natural light into your home, you could choose to have large windows or use lighting to mimic natural light in your home to create a healthy, engaging, and inspiring environment.
4. Improve ergonomics
Proper posture and positioning from your computer monitor or work material can impact your eye care as well. By sitting with proper posture and positioning your computer monitor or work material at the right height and distance, you can reduce eye strain and enjoy other benefits. The ideal sitting position at a desk is to:
- Position your monitor at least 51cm away from your eyes, with the top of the screen slightly below eye level
- Maintain the distance between your eyes and your screen with a 10 to 20 degree back tilt with your eyes slightly looking downwards to the middle of the screen.
- Avoid using lights above your monitor and opt for soft ambient lighting instead.
5. Pick the right light for each task
Choosing the correct light to suit the task or situation is another way to reduce strain on your eyes. Lighting technologies have come a long way and with smart lighting, you can customise your lighting to create the ideal lighting conditions. For example:
- While a cold white light can encourage focus and help to get tasks done, it can also be very harsh on the eyes. A yellowish-white light will be more suitable for daily use.
- Yellow lights provide a warm and cozy feeling that is comfortable for your eyes. This is ideal for tasks such as leisure reading and relaxing.
- Natural light is the light from outside your windows. By keeping your blinds open, you can stimulate Vitamin D and serotonin production which improves your mood, your bones, and eye health and vision.
Care for your eyes with Signify
Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, is the world leader in lighting systems and services. It has an extensive line-up of products that can be customized for a wide variety of situations. Its EyeComfort series ensures a comfortable, glare-free lighting environment, while the Philips HUE line of products provides a smart lighting system that can create any ambiance or mood lighting tailored to meet your exact needs.