High school students encouraged to take care of their eyes

Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands.

Minister of Health, Dr. Duane Sands said the blue light found in the LED screens of computers, tablets, smartphones and other digital devices can be damaging to the eyes.

“Prolonged use of these devices can cause you to develop near-sightedness and computer vision syndrome which includes dry eyes, tired eyes, inconsistent vision, headaches and fatigue, Dr. Sands explained to high school students attending the Bahamas Alliance for the Blind and Visually Impaired 10th Annual Sight Awareness Month at the Mall at Marathon on Friday.

He noted that researchers are studying how much the blue light can negatively affect sight in later life.

“I am not saying do not use your devices, but I am saying be sure to take breaks from your devices.  You should not be on them hour after hour. Every 20 minutes you should look up and look at something a good distance away for at least 20 seconds.”

The Health Minister also noted that the students should consume green leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage and kale, crunchy carrots, sweet potato, dillies, plums, mangoes, strawberries all of these colourful fruits and vegetables help to fight off and reduce the risk of eye disease.

“They can help strengthen your eye muscles and keep your vision clear.”

He said they should not play rough games nor aim for the eyes.  “Fingers, hands, pencils, pens, crayons, rocks, sticks or similar objects should stay far away from your face and definitely away from your eyes.

“Your eyes are very delicate and scratches, rips and knocks from objects can cause your sight to become blurred or you could lose it altogether.  Play safely and always protect your eyes.”

Dr. Sands also stressed that it was important for the students to get regular eye exams to pick up on vision problems early.

He said, “I make regular appointments to have my eyes checked by a professional ophthalmologist (or eye doctor).

“The ophthalmologist examines all the parts of the eye, the parts we can see and the parts we cannot see.”

Dr. Sands told the students, “You are not too young to start taking precautions to ensure that you maintain and preserve your sight.”

He added, “Eat healthy, protect your eyes when you are playing, have limited ‘screen time’ with your devices and have regular eye exams, these are simple things that you can do to preserve your sight now and for the future.

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This article was written by LLONELLA GILBERT, Bahamas Information Services.

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