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Good eye care habits

November 17, 2011

I think many of us have heard from our parents and our teachers that we should have good eye care habits. What are good eye care habits?

Firstly, there is a long list of good eye care habits to slow the progression of short-sightedness (myopia). You can find this list at the Health Promotion Board website. Yes, it is indeed a long list, so I shall summarise it for you:

(1) Reduce near work (reading, writing, using the computer) if you can and spend more time outdoors

(2) After every half hour of near work, look out of the window (look far) for a while

(3) Sit 50 cm from the computer

(4) Sit an appropriate distance from the TV

(5) Read in good light

(6) Go for regular eye checks

Here is a slightly different list which I presented to the writer for Ezyhealth and Beauty back in April 2009 (click on the image to enlarge):

Eye rubbing is a habit for some. When I was younger, I used to rub my eyes every night as I lay on the bed to sleep. Did you know that habitual eye rubbing over years can lead to an increase in astigmatism? I advise all my patients not to rub the eyes. The most common reason to rub the eyes is due to dry eyes. So, try lubricating your eyes with some artificial tears the next time you have the urge to rub your eyes. The next most common reason is due to an eye allergy. If you have a history of childhood asthma, allergic rhinitis (lots of sneezing) or eczema (skin rash), you may have some amount of allergic eye disease and this may then cause you to rub your eyes. The treatment for this is anti-allergic eye drops.

Do you know of any other good eye care habits? I am sure you do and I am sure you can share some of them with me apart from the list you will see in this post.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Fab permalink
    October 18, 2012 4:33 pm

    Dear Dr Lee,

    I have allergic rhinitis and use Oxymetazoline nasal decongestant on a habitual basis. They are factors for my eyes to become dry and itchy. Recently, an optician examined I have -0.75D astigmatism on one of my (otherwise refractive error free) eyes.

    1) Can astigmatism, induced from frequent rubbing of the eyes, be reversed by lubricating the affected eye diligently afterwards?
    2) If not, is there a lower limit for astigmatism power that eye surgeons will dissuade the patient from doing lasik in view of the surgical risk-benefit?

  2. October 18, 2012 6:46 pm

    Hi Fab,
    Thank you for reading my blog and for your questions.
    Yes, frequent eye rubbing on a daily basis for many years and lead to an increase of astigmatism. This cannot be reversed by lubricating if the shape of the cornea has really changed.
    LASIK can be done in eyes with up to -6.00D of astigmatism. But usually many with more than -4.50D may have some risk factors seen on their cornea maps that may not be too good for them to undergo LASIK.

  3. Fab permalink
    October 19, 2012 1:43 pm

    Thank you for your prompt reply!
    Is there a minimum threshold then? Is there such a thing as astigmatism too low to warrant Lasik?

    • November 4, 2012 3:11 pm

      Hi Fab,
      A person with low amount of astigmatism is usually not bothered by it, as such, he/she will probably not be thinking about have LASIK done.

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