Category Archives: EZ 34

A New Health Epidemic

Computers, Mobile Phones & Other Digital Devices Are Impacting Your Eyes

By Dr Susana Liou

In the old days, human beings devoted the majority of their time to working outdoors, farming vegetables and animals, working the fields. A huge portion of their daily life was spent underneath the sun, with their vision mainly focused on looking into the distance. This is how our eyes have evolved over millennia. In contrast, modern society spends much of its working life indoors, underneath artificial lighting, and looking at a computer, which in terms of vision is very close-up.

Our eyes were not designed to be looking at objects close-up for long periods of time. The muscle used for focusing on different distances, whether 10m away for driving, 4m for TV, 60cm for computers, or 40cm for reading, needs to adjust accordingly depending on the distance.

When we see far away in the distance (E.G. more than 6m away) the eye muscle is in a relaxed state. The closer you are looking at an object, the more focusing needs to occur, thus causing the eye muscle to contract. So, the longer you look at your computer screen for a prolonged period without looking away and changing the eyes’ position, the more strain you put on the eyes.

What does this tell us? The natural design of our eyes has not evolved to have us working close-up for the majority of the time. Some people these days spend up to 8 hours or more each day with their eyes locked in a fixed position towards their computer screen. The epidemic of sore and tired eyes caused by the use of digital devices has begun!

We at Visual Q Eyecare have begun to see an increased frequency of young people suffering from eyestrain due to prolonged near use. They tend to be between 25 and 38 years old, and upon visiting our optometry clinic comment that while they can still sit at the computer, it’s not as comfortable as it once was. They complain of sore or tired eyes, yet their vision might not be blurry. However, if the symptoms continue untreated, we often hear about a sudden onset of blurred vision.

People who use computers or other digital devices at a near or intermediate distance for extended period of times should have their eyes checked if they suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above. Discomfort when reading is also a common issue. When booking for your eye test, choose an optometrist who takes an interest in binocular vision problems, as they are often quite knowledgeable about issues with eye muscles. Once diagnosed the problem can be solved by wearing special vocational multi-focal lenses while you work. These look like normal glasses on the outside, but have added strength to help sustained near work.

We often hear people say, ‘Everything is fine with my vision, except when I use a computer my eyes feel tired.’ Our general advice is to take regular breaks from looking at the computer screen. For every 30 minutes of close-up work, take 1 minute to look at something at least 6m away from you. This will relax the eyes’ muscles. You may find it hard to comprehend, but we believe a 1-minute break after every half hour of near work is more beneficial for your eyes than a 30-minute break after 3 constant hours of working close-up. Think about it. 6 minutes of break time over a 3-hour period (1 minute per half hour equals 2 minutes per hour) is better for your eyes than a 30-minute break at the end of 3 hours straight work. It takes conscious determination and discipline, but it could save your eyes from becoming another victim of the modern digital device epidemic!

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Holistic Grooming

One of Malaysia’s premier aesthetics academies, Stella-In International Advanced Aesthetics Academy has groomed generations of aestheticians and beauty professionals. It was established by Madam Stella Hong in 1980 and is accredited by international examination boards of Confederation of International Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, UK (CIBTAC), Comite International d’Esthetic et Cosmetologie, Zurich (CIDESCO) and International Federation of Aromatherapy, UK (IFA). Recognising the academy’s contribution to Malaysia, the Ministry of Tourism appointed Stella-In as Malaysia’s Official Centre of Excellence to train Spa Therapists in 2011.

Not content is being just providing vocational training, Stella-In has paved a continuous education pathway for its students, enabling them to acquire higher qualifications. The Academy is in collaboration with Chisholm Institute of TAFE that allows its students to transfer credits of their qualifications at Stella-In to Chisholm TAFE for further studies in Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Bachelor in Health Science (Dermal Therapies) at Victoria University (Melbourne). In this regard, Stella-In is a pioneer, being the first aesthetics academy in Malaysia to forge such a path for its students.

Stella-In is headed by Madam Stella’s son, Leslie Hong. Injecting vigour and helping bring the Academy to new heights, Leslie is an expert in the field of aesthetics. He is a Colour Analyst and Image Consultant who has the distinction of being one of the first in Southeast Asia to be certified by Canada’s International Image Institute. This Property Estate Studies and Management double-degree graduate from New Zealand followed his mother’s footsteps and joined the family business because of his passion for the industry. ‘Aesthetics is not just making people look beautiful, but helping people as well. I saw my mother helping clients with acne recover; then when the clients’ skin got well, she would put make-up for them and groom them. You could see the joy in the customers. That really inspired me,’ said Leslie.

Leslie Hong,  Chief Executive Officer of Stella-In International Advanced Aesthetics Academy
Leslie Hong,
Chief Executive Officer of Stella-In International Advanced Aesthetics Academy

With over 18 years of experience as an artistic director, make-up artist and master trainer for Stella-In International,  Leslie is credited with leading the Academy to its international recognition and positioning as one of, if not the, leading aesthetics academy in the region. ‘Nowadays, people look towards brands and recognition, awards and achievements. The evolution of Stella-In from the 1980’s to now is one in which we have positioned ourselves very well in terms of accreditation,’ he explained on the success of Stella-In in bridging vocational training and tertiary education with leading institutions in Australia.

Besides having a passion for the aesthetics field, Leslie is passionate about community service. He is an active Lions Club member, having served the organisation as its president in the past and spearheading his club’s Prosthetic Limbs Project which has been instrumental in providing prosthetic limbs to those in need since 2006.

With his interest in Lions Club and his mother’s life-long quest to help people, it is no surprise that Stella-In has a culture of doing social work. ‘In business, we feel that most important thing is that we have to care for the society through community service works,’ said Leslie. ‘We are involved in social outreach programmes such as fund raising for local hospitals, and providing massage training for the blind at St Nicholas’ Home, among others.’

If a lasting career in aesthetics is what you’re looking for, make Stella-In your top consideration as a quality education centre. To find out more information, call +604 228 3833/ 227 3833 or visit http://www.stella-in.com.my.