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Excessive TV, phone and computer exposure blamed on ​modern day eye health issues.

Wazeem Mohamed, the Head of Retail Optica Kenya 

A leading optician has associated a cross-section of behavioural changes in lifestyle to some of the health problems that are affecting the modern day Kenyan.

Speaking on Thursday at Thika, the head of Retail Optica Kenya Wazeem Mohamed said that technological advancement has exposed so many people to too much ‘blue light’, both at home and at their places of work, something that can have lasting negative effects on their sleep patterns, causes eye strains and headaches

“When you stare at a screen for hours, whether it is a computer, smart phone or a tablet, you are exposed to blue light from the device, exposing you to digital eyestrain. Blue light does affect the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle, thus making it harder to get to sleep at night,” said Wazeem during the opening of their new branch at Thika Bazaar along Kenyatta

He noted that in recent time, very many people complained of frequent headaches, most of which were as a result of disorders of the eyes.

Wazeem recommended that since it was almost unavoidable to do without these gadgets, one must try to limit their screen time especially before going to bed as well as wearing protective ophthalmic lenses that cut blue light penetration.

“I know it is very difficult to avoid your smart phone or computer due to the importance of these gadgets on our everyday lives. However, continued exposure to blue light over time could result in regular headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and even disturbed sleep cycle. Fortunately, if you work with computers all day, you can protect your eyes from strain by wearing Blue block lenses a lens specially made to filter the harmful blue light emitted by these screens” he said.

Wazeem also recommended getting regular comprehensive eye exams from qualified optometrist as this was critical to diagnosing any potential eye related issues in its early stages.

However, he lamented that the eye-care industry in Kenya has been heavily infested with quacks.

“Optometry practice is not regulated and so most optical shops use untrained personnel to give out optical correction to Kenyans resulting to more eye problems than correction,” he said.

He challenged people seeking optical services to demand to know the qualifications and experience of the optometrists serving them as well as demanding an explanation on every recommendation to the patient

Optica was formed in 1959 in Nairobi and has grown steadily over the years to become the largest optical practitioners in East Africa region with 32 branches across the country. They only hire professional Optometrists to conduct eye examinations and boast of offering most diverse and unique eye-wear collections in East Africa at affordable pricing.

He concluded stating “We have taken the responsibility on us to control certain ill practices within the optical industry wherever possible merely by setting examples and educating our own clientele believing word-of-mouth is more powerful than advertising also taking in to account the attempt is of the interest of the public than of the firms commercial interest. Thika is one such region that many optical providers have mushroomed in the recent past and our presence over the past 59 years have taught us the best practices in the industry and of course the technical expertise we have is unmatched”

Thika now has two branches after the opening of the Kenyatta Highway branch. The other branch sits along Uhuru Highway.

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