We’re all about celebrating our children’s new milestones as they grow up, but myopia is definitely not one of them.

Childhood myopia is on the rise.

Globally, it’s been reported that myopia has been on the rise among school-going children. We wouldn’t want our children to spend majority of the childhood in a blur, would we?

Firstly, myopia, or more commonly known as nearsightedness, is a condition that occurs when the eye loses its shape. As such, light cannot focus properly on to the retina which causes blurry vision. One of the biggest risk factors that contribute to myopia is near work activity, such as screen time.

Both a boon and a bane, the screens have undoubtedly been a great help in educating and entertaining our children (especially when we were all in quarantine). On the other hand, prolonged screen time is one of the risk factors attributed to the progression of myopia which explains why myopia has been on the rise amongst our digitally-wired children.

In Singapore alone, the prevalence of myopia among seven to nine year-olds is reportedly one of the highest, globally. If left unchecked, childhood myopia could lead to high myopia as children get older. Once they reach adulthood, the likelihood of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration increases for them as well. In the same article, Dr. Pang, an ophthalmologist at the Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre reported that she is witnessing glaucoma and cataracts advancing at an earlier age among her patients.

From phones to tablets, kids are using them all nowadays and it’s just become another part of growing up in the 21st Century. We can’t get rid of these devices entirely, but we can definitely help to manage our children’s relationship with these devices.

How can we help as parents?

Luckily for parents, we’ve got a 3-step regime to help you combat myopia and prevent it from progressing in your child.

Step 1: If you can’t beat the screens, then get into the screens.

How?  The plano app is the first science-based application that helps limit your child’s screen time and prevents myopia from progressing. When using their phones or tablets, plano will remind your child to place their devices at a distance of at least 30cm away from their eyes to avoid extended periods of near work activity (which we all know now is one of the causes of myopia). Upon reaching the half-hour mark, plano will notify your child to take a break from his/her device. During this time, your child will be unable to use his/her device so it’ll be a great chance for them to take a well-deserved eye break.

Step 2: Find other forms of entertainment beyond the screens.

With countless games available for download within 30 seconds, our children are spoilt for choice – and we all know how entertaining those games can get. Not only will our children be drawn in to the amazing graphics that some of these games offer, the highly addictive nature of these games can rope them into spending hours upon hours on their devices. Sure, it’s a great way to distract our children and past the time, but let’s not forget all the outdoor fun they could be sacrificing.

Bringing kids outdoors to play for at least 2 hours each day has been reported to help reduce the incidence of myopia. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect our children’s eyes. In fact, if your child follows the notifications and prompts in the plano app (to place their devices at least 30cm away from their eyes, and to take their regular half-hourly eye breaks), they get to earn points! These points can then be used in the plano Shop* to request for fun outdoor activities!

Step 3: Check in with your optometrist every year.

Last, but definitely not least, bring your child for a comprehensive eye check every year with a certified optometrist. The optometrist will conduct tests on your child’s eyes and provide you with a detailed report on the progression of your child’s visual health.

If your child does have myopia, your optometrist can advise your child and you on the necessary steps to take to help monitor their vision health and prevent the progression of myopia. With the plano app, you can also schedule a comprehensive eye check at your nearest optometrist today*! You can then use the app to keep track of your appointments and even your child’s myopia progression.

In just 3 steps, you can help tackle myopia and nip it in the bud before it goes out of control. Undoubtedly, we parents want our children to grow up healthy so let’s start by helping them take charge of their visual health today!

*only available to Singapore plano users.

Reading those letters of the charts at the optometrist office is fun, but what exactly is the purpose and what can they tell you?

Testing 1, 2, 3.

A VAT refers is a test that measures your eye’s ability to see and read details of a letter or a symbol from a distance. These letters and symbols can come in varying sizes – from really tiny to really huge. Being able to discern these letters and symbols is just one part of determining your overall visual health and your ability to see.

There are many other parts to an eye exam which includes, but is not limited to, history taking, auto-refraction, subjective refraction, a retinoscopy, retinal assessment, colour vision tests, and cover tests. These tests are conducted by a certified optician or an ophthalmologist. Such comprehensive eye exams should be conducted once a year at the minimum to ensure your eyes are developing healthily.

What happens during a typical VAT?

Back to VAT. During a VAT, you can expect to see two different charts, namely the typical Snellen test and the random ‘E’ test.

1. The Snellen test

Of the two, this is probably the one you’re most familiar one. It’s one of those huge boards hung from the wall across you with a bunch of random letters and numbers decreasing in size. You’ve probably seen them during your school health screening (back in the day).

During a Snellen test, you’re seated about 6 metres (20 feet) away from the chart and you have to cover one eye as you read the letters or numbers from the top to the bottom. Your optometrist will ask you to read out as many letters or numbers as you can until you’re unable to decipher them due to their small font size. After completing the test with one eye, you’ll have to restart the whole test again with the other eye (you’ll be given a brand new chart as well).

2. The random’E’ test

Now this one may be unfamiliar to you. This test is rather fun – your optometrist will show you different slides with an ‘E’ on each of them. However, the ‘E’s on each slide will be facing a different direction and you have to point out which direction the ‘E’ is facing – left, right, up or down.

You’ll also be doing this test while looking through a variety of different lenses that your optometrist will place in front of your eye. Your optometrist will constantly keep switching the lenses out to determine if your eyes require prescriptive lenses or not to correct your vision.

Results time.

After going through your tests, your optometrist will present to you your test results. These results will be shown as a fraction out of 20. So, if you’ve received a 20/20, it means you’ve got perfect eyesight! Congratulations! More than that, it means that your eyes are able to see an object clearly from 20 feet away.

However, if your results show a fraction of 20/40, it reveals that your eyes need to be around 20 feet from the object when in actual fact, people would normally need to be 40 feet away from the object. In other words, you’ve got myopia and will likely need prescriptive lenses to help you see further objects properly. Your optometrist will need to have a discussion with you if you require any special treatment and how to care for your eyes.

The importance of eye checks.

Attending regular, annual comprehensive eye checks is important to maintain healthy eyes and keep track of any vision issues you may face. A VAT is just one such test that is conducted during a comprehensive eye check to determine the health of your eyes.

You can book a comprehensive eye check today at planoeyecheck.com. Simply choose your nearest optometrist on the website, sign up, and you’re good to go!

While eye drops provide a quick and easy fix for dry eyes, it is important to understand what exactly is making them feel dry in the first place, in order to find an effective treatment in the long-term. 

The sharp glare of the screen

As a father of a 10-year old boy who loves playing video games, I’m careful about how much time he spends on them. If he had his way, he’d be on his smartphone from dusk until dawn. I love the fact that he can entertain himself for long periods of time and chat to his friends in their virtual worlds. However, it has recently come to my attention that gaming is taking a toll on his health. A few weeks ago, he started complaining about how his eyes often felt sore, dry and itchy.

 Despite getting him some eye drops, they only provided short-term relief and the complaints would begin again the next day. I took it upon myself to do some research into the matter and discovered that he was suffering from digital eye strain (or DES). The various websites I consulted suggested that it is much better in the long-term to tackle the root of the problem, rather than simply soothing the effects with eye drops.

What is digital eye strain?

Digital eye strain (DES) is a common eye condition that is caused by spending too much time on smart devices. When the blue light emitted from the screen enters the eye, it scatters and puts strain on the eye’s ability to focus, causing it to fatigue. Even more, when we hold our smartphones at an angle that is higher than our eyes or simply stare at them for too long, we tend to open them wider and blink less, causing our eyes to dry out and become itchy. This explains why my son was complaining; he was suffering from DES.

Treating symptoms of digital eye strain

Eye drops are commonly used to treat dry eye symptoms of DES as they are relatively cheap and offer a quick fix by re-lubricating the eye. I used eye drops on my son for a while but soon realized that his condition was not improving. While eye drops were good at providing a quick fix, I realized the root of the problem stemmed from the vast amount of time he was spending playing games on his smartphone.

Prevent it, don’t fix it.

Upon researching the condition, I came across many tips on how to use screens in a healthier way. These include: 

  • Taking regular breaks every thirty minutes.
  • Reducing screen time to less than two hours a day.
  • Holding the device at a good distance (at least 30cm from face) and in a good position (20 to 30 degrees below eye level).

The only problem was; how would I convince my eight-year-old son to change his screen behaviors? He gets so much joy out of gaming that I would never want to ban it entirely, however he is resistant to rules and doesn’t like to be told what to do. 

Fortunately,the plano app addresses this challenge. It runs in the background of his smartphone, and can monitor his screen behavior, sending reminders to both of us when he is using his device irresponsibly (e.g. for more than thirty minutes at a time). It also rewards him with points when he demonstrates good behavior (e.g. holding the screen at least 30cm from his face). 

The points he earns can be used in the plano shop to request for fun, device-free activities for him to do, such as football lessons or tree-top climbing sessions. My son loved this points-reward function and instantly took measures to improve his screen behavior; he said, “it’s just like playing a video game, but in real life!”

While it is often tempting to treat digital eye strain with a quick fix (e.g. eye drops), addressing the root of the problem is a much more effective solution in the long-term. With the plano app, my son is able to enjoy playing games, but in a way that is healthy and responsible and free from the painful symptoms of DES.   

For all Singaporean parents, if you download the plano app any time from now till 1 June 2020, you will enjoy a FREE annual subscription of the plano app! The annual subscription of the plano app comes with the entire list of functions of features that you may find here.

This initiative is our way of showing that as a Plano family, we stand with you in these unprecedented times!

Download plano here to enjoy the full suite of parental control features now unlocked for you!

No, you’re not actually sleepy, your eyes are just tired from a whole day of staring at a screen.

When you see nothing but a screen

We use our devices to work, to play, to socialise, to read, to listen to music, among many other things. Our lives basically revolve around the screen and we unknowingly rack up hours upon hours of screen time – from 9am when we begin work to 11pm when we begin winding down for bed, we’re usually with a screen in front of our eyes.

While we’re using our devices, we may not feel the strain and stress in the moment. But staring at the screen without giving our eyes a little rest can lead to eye fatigue. Even children in Singapore as young as 9 years old spend up to 50 hours a week on screen time. And in America, adults spend up to 12 hours a day in front of a screen. When our eyes are fatigued, we commonly experience the following symptoms:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye twitching
  • Neck and shoulder pain

What can we do then?

There’s no avoiding screens in today’s digital age though – they’re a necessary tool in our daily lives now, especially our children’s. However, we can alleviate these symptoms and help prevent fatigued eyes altogether in 3 simple steps:

1. Take regular eye breaks

Make it a point to keep track of the duration of time you’re spending staring at the screen. Give yourself a 2-minute eye break every half an hour in front of the computer, phone or tablet. These regular eye break intervals are pertinent in helping to relieve Digital Eye Strain (DES) and prevent eye fatigue.

2. Place your devices a good distance away

How near are you to your screen? As a guideline, you should place your smartphones and tablets at least 30cm away from your eyes. If you’re using your laptop or computer, your eyes should be around 26 inches away from the screen. Placing a good distance between your eyes and your screens help to lift the stress off your eyes and keep them healthy. In fact, placing your screens too near your eyes induces near work activity. Spending excessive amounts of time on near tasks can result in the growth of the axial length of the eye which can lead to myopia.

3. Eye drops for immediate relief

If your eyes begin to feel dry and itchy, you can find immediate, temporary relief in the form of lubricating eye drops. These eye drops help bring back some moisture in your eyes therefore alleviating them of discomfort. And if you don’t have access to any lubricating eye drops, you can always heat up a warm towel and create a warm compress to cover over your eyes.

Eye fatigue affects us all

We’ve all been a victim of eye fatigue at least once. But now with the right steps to take, we can begin to prevent it and keep our eyes healthy. If your symptoms persist however, it’s recommended that you visit an optometrist for a thorough check in order to determine what’s causing them.

You can book a comprehensive eye exam for your child today at planoeyecheck.com. Simply choose your nearest optometrist on the website, sign up, and you’re good to go! Let’s all keep our eyes healthy and safe.

As your kids spend more time on their phones these days, you may start noticing more complaints of ‘itchy’ eyes and headaches. They may be victims of digital eye strain, one of the many consequences of their unhealthy tech habits.

Eye strain is particularly tough on our children’s still-developing eyes. On top of headaches and eye irritation, it may cause other symptoms including – pain, dryness, burning, redness, sensitivity to light and a loss of the eye’s ability to focus correctly, resulting in blurred vision.

Eye strain is very common, and you may have already seen its effects in your own children – they may complain of dryness and you may have seen them incessantly rubbing their eyes, and by the time you’ve caught them in the act, their eyes have turned an alarming shade of pink.

It is very likely that those bright, flickering smart device screens that are often held for far too long and too close to our children’s delicate eyes are to blame for their suffering.

The good news is, there are simple solutions to your problems. Digital eye strain can be avoided with some simple behavioural changes. As is often the case, education is the first step. In order to know how to help your children to avoid digital eye strain, it will help you to first understand what causes digital eye strain, what it looks like, and what can be done to stop it.

Here are some of the common risk factors of eye strain and associated health symptoms and how to address them once and for all.

  1. Excessive screen time 

If left unsupervised, our children could go hours hunched over their mobile devices, scrolling through their endless feeds without any breaks. Why exactly is this bad for their eyes?

Research shows that three hours or longer of screen time per day is linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing dry eye in children, one of the symptoms of eye strain, by more than 13 times! Reasons for this are complex but include reduced and incomplete blinking while staring at screens.

The fix: Ensure adequate face-to-screen distance when you or your child uses devices i.e. keep a comfortable distance between the face and computer screens and when using smart devices like phones or tablets. Take regular breaks between periods of screen exposure to allow your eyes to rest i.e. look out the windows at faraway objects or close your eyes for a few minutes.    

2. Incorrect screen location

The next time your child uses their mobile devices, observe how they are holding them. For instance, are they lying down on their bed with their screens far too close to their eyes? 

When your child positions his/her screen higher than their eye level, it results in a larger opening of their eyelids, and thus greater eye surface exposure. This increases the amount of tear evaporation and increases their susceptibility to developing dry eye and eye strain.

The fix: Adequate face-to-screen distance and proper screen positioning is key. 

How close is too close? It is recommended that smart devices are held at least 30 cm away from the face. A screen location of 15-20 degrees below eye level is also recommended to reduce these problems.

How can you effectively implement these fixes?

While all these tips are extremely effective as preventative strategies against eye strain, actually integrating them in our children’s lives can be rather challenging. For this very reason, we have developed the plano application which effectively helps parents manage their children’s device use behaviour. 

At the end of the day, all we want is the best for our children. Protecting them from the pitfalls of excessive device use has to begin at an early age. As I often say, it isn’t technology itself, but the relationship we develop with technology that needs to be addressed!

Got your laptop in front of you, your phone on your right, and an extra tablet on your left. Great! Now are they all placed properly to protect your eyes and your physical health?

What’s your environment like?

Most of us spend an average of 8 hours a day at work – that’s a really long time – and we’ve each probably developed a range of working habits that work well for us. When we sit at the same desk every day for an extended period of time staring at a screen however, we may experience a few, if not all of these:

Our eyes feel tired and dry after a whole day of staring at the screen.

Our heads hurt after 8-hours of facing the glare of the screen.

Our upper backs may feel sore after slouching for a whole day.

Our lower backs may feel an ache after sitting down for hours upon hours.

So we attend massages, we stretch, do some yoga, but again and again the same aches and pains keep coming back. Instead of finding symptomatic relief for every ache or discomfort we feel, why not tackle the source of the problem – our workspace ergonomics.

According to the dictionary, ergonomics is ‘the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment’. Ask yourself: what does your physical environment look like when you sit down for a day of work? Look at where your laptop is placed and how it’s placed, notice the way you sit, and how you look at the screen all day. These little things can hinder your vision and physical health. However, small little changes to your workstation can help address your health concerns and reduce the risk of any health conditions.

Getting down to re-organising.

When your eyes feel tired and dry, or if your head hurts, or when your back begins to ache, it may be due to the position of your laptop and other digital devices at your work desk. It’s important to practice effective workplace ergonomics to prevent any physical health issues from surfacing:

1. Use a laptop stand or a phone stand, or both!

A laptop stand is one of the most ingenious inventions. All you have to do is set it up and prop your laptop on it. The reason why it’s so great is because it helps to prevent your neck from tilting too far down to see the screen.

The elevation from the laptop stand helps keep your gaze at eye length and stops you from slouching towards your laptop or leaning too near it. Not only does this help to alleviate the pressure on your shoulders and upper back, it also helps you maintain healthy eye sight as it keeps you from leaning too far forward toward the screen.

The same thing goes for your phones. If you have a tendency to bend forward to check out new notifications that ping on your phone, invest in a phone stand to help you look at them at a leveled height.

2. Adjust your laptop position away from the glare

If you sit by the window in your office, you’re definitely no stranger to the sun. So when the sun strikes your laptop, you’re met with the most intense glare your eyes have ever seen. This can contribute to eye strain in the office and reduce your productivity.

One of the ways around this is to purchase an anti-glare filter for your laptop, depending on the size of your laptop screen. You could also consider angling your laptop away from the sun so that it doesn’t hit your laptop and cause your eyes discomfort.

3. Get up and move

Sitting is the new smoking. While it’s important to continue being productive at work, sitting all day can be detrimental to your spinal health. Staring at a screen all day is also damaging for your eye health as prolonged screen time is an associated risk factor of myopia.

If you notice you’ve been sitting at your desk staring at your screens for more than an hour, get up and take a walk to the pantry. Stare out the office windows. Go to the bathroom. Just get moving when you can while you’re in the office to ease off the tension around your eyes and your body.

We work, we work, and we rest.

We spend a lot of time at our work spaces and that’s normal and okay. What’s not okay is not caring about how those works paces are set up. Even while we’re working we ought to take care of our visual and physical health too. If this article has inspired you to rearrange your work station and your everyday work habits, feel free to share this article!

As parents whose children are growing up in the midst of the digital age and a pandemic, we are faced with a new type of challenge – getting our children to put down their smartphones and get up and moving.

The addictive nature of mobile devices is undeniable. Throw in the stay home measures that have made it mandatory our kids to be cooped up with their devices into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster.

In fact, in Singapore, our research has shown an increase in screen time of almost 20% for both children and adults during the pandemic! This is particularly worrying given that research has found that even 2-year olds are already spending at least 2 hours in front of screens, with screen time increasing to more than 7 hours in teenagers.

Just how bad is excessive screen time for our little ones?

The Collateral Damage: Their Eyes

Screen time affects our children’s still-developing eyes in many ways.

1. Near-sightedness (Myopia)

Near-work was known to be one of the most important risk factors for the onset and progression of myopia even before the smart device revolution! For instance, behaviours like more time spent reading, poor reading posture, and a closer viewing distance has been found to be particularly problematic. Adding to the problem is that more time on near-work is linked to less time outdoors, which is another risk factor of myopia. 

Screen-based activities is a new form of near-work, and children who use devices tend to do so indoors for long uninterrupted periods with poor posture and at viewing distances closer than conventional books.

Without early intervention, especially when it comes to our children’s device habits, myopia can lead to sight-threatening high myopia and even blindness in some cases.

2. Digital Eye Strain (DES)

For adults and children alike, excessive screen time is also associated with digital eye strain (DES), which is a group of eye-related problems resulting from prolonged screen time.

In fact, research from South Korea has found that children who spend three or more hours on screens each day have a 13-fold greater risk of developing DES. The symptoms of DES include eye irritation, burning, dryness, redness, sensitivity to light and a loss of the eye’s ability to focus correctly, resulting in blurred vision and headaches, sometimes mimicking that of a migraine.

3. Beyond their Eyes: ‘Text Neck’ and ‘Smartphone thumb’

Have your children ever complained about stiff necks and/or fingers? These should not be dismissed as regular aches and pains; they have long term consequences on their necks and spines!

In fact, these issues are becoming so pervasive and problematic, that ‘text neck’ and ‘smartphone thumb’ are now common terms used to describe them by health care professionals.

Your little one develops ‘text neck’when he/she slouches and bend their heads down and forward during extended periods of smart device use. Text neck leads to rounded shoulders, tenderness, stiffness, soreness and weakness in the neck, back and shoulder muscles, as well as reduced neck mobility.

‘Smartphone thumb’ on the other hand is a type of tendinitis caused by the repetitive motion of typing on a flat smartphone screen, which affects the wrist joint and causes pain around the thumb.

Nipping it in the bud

“The childhood shows the man as morning shows the day”

– John Milton

We couldn’t have said it better. Given the collateral damage that our children are susceptible to, addressing their unhealthy relationship with technology early on is essential. Educating your child on the importance of a healthy relationship with their devices is an important step in setting them up for a lifetime of healthy eyes!

Singapore has been deemed as the myopia capital of the world, but how much do parents know about this stifling vision condition?

The truth about myopia.

Myopia is most commonly regarded as near-sightedness. It occurs when the eye ball loses its round shape and becomes elongated. While many are aware of this condition, few fully understand the condition, consequences, and preventive measures that come along with this vision ailment.

In fact, through a survey conducted in 2019, 54% of Singaporean parents identified blurry vision as the only consequence of myopia. While blurry vision is one of the most common consequences of myopia, it’s not the only one. It can also induce frequent headaches, squinting, and eye fatigue. In fact, if myopia goes untreated, it can lead to high myopia, cataracts and even glaucoma in later years. As parents, it’s important to keep informed about all there is to know about taking care of our child’s vision health to prevent any eye health conditions from surfacing.

Here are 3 misconceptions Singaporean parents have about myopia:

1. “Myopia is only passed down genetically. I have perfect eyesight so it’s unlikely that my child will develop myopia.”

It’s true that there is a higher incidence of your child developing myopia if he/she is genetically predisposed to myopia. However, it doesn’t mean that those who do not have a family history of myopia are immune to the visual condition.

Myopia can develop as a result of environmental factors as well. These environmental factors include: prolonged near work activity, lack of time outdoors, and a long duration of screen time. For instance, if your child constantly partakes in near work activity for extended periods of time (such as placing their phones too near their eyes), it can place unnecessary strain and pressure on the eyes. This could lead to myopia progression as the eye ball begins to lose its shape and structure.

It’s important to remember that while myopia can be passed down genetically, environmental factors play a critical role in myopia progression as well.

2. “It’s okay to delay wearing spectacles/corrective contact lenses as this could improve their eyesight.”

This could not be further from the truth. If your child requires prescriptive spectacles or corrective lenses to help them see clearly, they should wear them as soon as they can. This is to ensure that your child will be able to go about his/her daily activities with the clearest vision possible. Delaying spectacles or corrective lenses can put your child at a greater risk – it could lead to an incomplete development of your child’s eyes and even worsen your child’s existing myopia condition.

3. Annual school check ups are sufficient to prevent myopia.

In Singapore, the annual health screening program in schools is an important first step as it identifies those with reduced vision. But even before that, about 11% of Singaporean children already develop myopia between the early ages of 6 months to 6 years. Thus, it is recommended that children still attend an annual comprehensive eye check at an optometrist to continuously evaluate and treat any eye conditions.

Stopping myopia in a blink of an eye.

Not literally, but there are steps you can take as a parent to prevent myopia from progressing in your little one. Remind your child to take an eye break every 30 minutes after using his/her devices, and them at least 30 cm away from the eyes. Most importantly, bringing your child to attend an annual comprehensive eye exam at an optometrist can help your child to identify any vision ailments he/she may have. If needed, your optometrist will prescribe medication or prescriptive glasses to help safeguard your child’s vision.

You can book a comprehensive eye exam for your child today at planoeyecheck.com. Simply choose your nearest optometrist on the website, sign up, and you’re good to go! Let’s all keep our children’s eyes healthy and safe from myopia today.

Let’s drink to good health and have a delicious time while we’re at it!

A blend of all things good for your eyes

You know what’s the best drink out there? One that refreshes you and is good for your health too! According to a survey done, 43% of Americans resolve to eat more healthily in 2020 – and that’s a great resolution. Our health doesn’t just compromise our bodily health, but our vision health too. While practicing good eye care habits every day can definitely help improve your eyesight, why not incorporate some yummy treats to include in the process too?

Packed with tons of useful vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are a great starting point for any healthy drink or snack. It’s all about finding that perfect blend and balance to make a delectable mid afternoon drink. What’s more, if your little one isn’t a big fan of his/her greens, this would be a great chance to incorporate some vegetables into a cool, refreshing midday beverage!

Let’s get mixing!

So which ingredients exactly go with what and which are beneficial for your pair of eyes? Here are 3 different smoothie recipes you can try out at home:

1. Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

No, not green strawberries, just those delicious red juicy summer strawberries. So where does the ‘green’ come from? It comes from spinach and kale! Spinach and kale have wonderful benefits for your eyes as they’re packed with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful nutrients needed to protect your eyes from issues like cataracts. Strawberries are packed with loads of antioxidants too and bananas contain vitamin A which are the key to healthy eyes. Here’s the full recipe of this mega-protection smoothie:

  • 2/3 cup spinach
  • 2/3 cup kale
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 5 frozen strawberries (or add more if you want to!)

Blend everything together until you get a smooth texture. Then, prepare your glasses and toast to good vision!

2. Apple Ginger and Carrot smoothie

The king of vitamin A – carrots. Carrots are jam packed with truckloads of vitamin A which is an essential vitamin to maintaining healthy eyes and it’s for this reason that carrots are the star of this smoothie. What about ginger? Well, ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and can help brighten your eyes by preventing blood from stagnating under your eyes (and causing those notorious dark circles around our eyes!) Here’s how to make this smoothie that’s sure to bring that sparkle back into your eyes:

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • A handful of ice cubes

Give them a good blend and enjoy this refreshing drink that’s sure to make your eyes pop!

3. Mango Avocado smoothie

The taste of summer has never been closer until now. Mangoes are a great source of vitamin A as well and avocadoes contain doses of lutein – both nutrients that are integral in protecting your cornea! With this tasty fruity mix, you not only get a sweet treat, but also a vision health shot:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup ripe mango, chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
  • Some honey

Mix them all together in a blender, pour it into a cup and you’ve got a dose of good nutrients and minerals all in a glass.

Finished drinking?

These healthy smoothies are a simple way to incorporate healthy vision practices in your daily life in addition to practicing good vision habits every day. However, one of the best and most surefire ways to protect your vision is to attend an annual comprehensive eye exam at your local optometrist. In Singapore, you can book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at your nearest optometrist today via planoeyecheck.com.

Start booking today for a lifetime of healthy eyes. I’m sure we’d all cheers to that!

You’re not tired, your eyes are tired. The cause? The one thing you probably can’t live without – your phone screen.

A glare that’s hurting your eyes.

Like clockwork, we switch on our phones when we wake, and we mindlessly scroll through them before we tuck in to bed. Almost all of us are guilty of this. In between the hours of 9am to 10pm? We’re still on our devices – laptops, phones, tablets, you name it, we’re probably on at least 2 of them.

Before you know it, we’re racking up more hours on the screen than we’d care to count. We may not feel the effects of it in the moment, but we’re actually dealing years upon years of irreversible damage to our eyes. When we stare at a screen for an uninterrupted and prolonged period of time, our blink rate actually decreases significantly. According to studies, we blink 66% less when we stare at the screen. This actually places a lot of strain and stress on our eyes and can lead to issues like dry eye.

Moreover, if we use our phones throughout the day, the near proximity of the phone to our eyes can contribute to the progression of myopia. The stress that our eyes undergo to accommodate to the near distance from the screen causes the eye to lose its shape and flexibility. This creates an environment for myopia to progress at a heightened rate.

So what can we do about it?

We’ve only got 1 pair of eyes and we wouldn’t want to take them for granted, would we? So why wait to take care of our eyes when something strikes when we can take precautions to prevent them in them in the first place. Here are 3 things you can do to rest your eyes and relieve your eyes of that strain:

1. Rest your eyes after 30 minutes of device work.

It’s easy for us all to get sucked into a whirlpool of work for hours upon hours. While it is important to get that work done and punctually too, it’s equally important for us to give our eyes a break every half hour. It doesn’t have to be a very long break either. A 2-minute break would suffice to keep your eyes going for another hour! You can use this 2 minutes to close your eyes or just look out the window. Anything is better than sitting curled up in front of the screens all day.

2. Give your eyes some TLC

If you’ve got the time, you could always give yourself a little at-home eye spa treatment. Simply place a warm cloth over your eyes for 20 minutes and close your eyes for a short cat nap. To heighten that spa experience, you could even drop some essential oils on that warm towel for a relaxing scent too. After 20 minutes, your eyes will feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

3. Consult your optometrist for an in-depth review

Who better to tell you about your eyes than a professional optometrist? One of the best ways to find out about the health of your eyes is to visit an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. During the eye exam, your optometrist will go through a vision acuity test, a retinal test, and will even diagnose and advise treatment for any issues your eyes may be facing. With planoeyecheck.com*, you can book an eye check for yourself today and receive a $50 voucher to offset the cost of your comprehensive eye exam!

A pair of eyes to last you a lifetime.

We’ve got a pair of eyes that are meant to see more than just a screen in front of us, and do we have a lot more to see. So let’s take our eyes of the screen once in a while and give it the adequate rest and care it deserves.

*Only available in Singapore.