With regulations to stay indoors and work-from-home policies implemented by businesses across the UAE, using devices for longer periods of time has become the new norm.

Constant exposure to blue light not only affects our vision but also our body, including changes in our body’s biological clock, and can lead to various conditions such as dry and tired eyes, blurred vision, difficulty in focusing and sometimes even progressive loss of vision. To ensure your sleep is not affected, it is recommended to not use any tech for one hour before you go to sleep.

If you have to use tech when at home, you can use it moderately and by ensuring your eyes are protected from the harmful emission. Here are five tips to protect you and your loved one’s eyes from the blue light from devices:

1- Avoid over exposure to screens or reduce screen time significantly for kids – the
recommended screen time for kids is just 30-45min per day while adults are recommended to use tech as less as possible.

2- Turn Blue light filters on mobiles – A majority of today’s phones come with a blue light filter setting. Enabling this on your phone lets you filter out blue light and adjust the warmth of the colours in your display.

3- Use Blue light blocking technology – If you are a person that uses tech heavily, consider getting spectacles with blue light blocking technology.

4- Keep Lubricating drops handy – Your eyes tend to get dry when you focus on screens for too long. Lubricating drops are sold over the counter that you can use based on how dry the eye is. If the problem persists, it is best to get your eyes tested by an ophthalmologist.

5- Remember the 20/20/20 rule –The famous rule says that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, one should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes time to recover and lets you take frequent breaks from constant screen time.


Dr. Anurag Mathur

Specialist Opthalmologist

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai



As parents, it is natural to be concerned about your children and their safety during a pandemic. We spoke to Dr. Anuradha Gunasekharan, Specialist Paediatrician at Aster Speciality Clinic, International City, about COVID-19 and the precautions parents and to-be moms can take to clear commonly asked queries.

Is the corona virus more dangerous for babies and small children than it is for adults?

We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there are relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. This is a new virus and we need to learn more about how it affects children.

As well as the normal measures, such as hygiene and maintaining social distancing, what else can be done to protect a baby or child from this virus?

The first and foremost measure which is going to be very effective in preventing COVID and other respiratory viruses is Hand hygiene. All children and adults should perform hand washing in a stepwise manner.

a. Step 1: Wet hands with running water

b. Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

c. Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of the hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

d. Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

e. Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth

Also ensure that children wash their hands often, especially before eating, after blowing
their nose, coughing or sneezing and after going to the bathroom.

If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms. Medical care should be sought early if you or your child has a cough, fever and/or difficulty in breathing. Talk to kids about respiratory hygiene and how to appropriately use and dispose masks. Teach children not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and to cough or sneeze into the tissue paper and dispose the tissue properly.

If you have had any contact with someone who has returned recently from any of the global hotspots for COVID-19, it is important to divulge the exact travel history to the authorities. Update the vaccination status of your kid with emphasis on the flu vaccine.

There are a lot of tips being shared around the community to help ward off the chance of contracting the virus. Are there any that you think hold any merit? Anything that we can do to make our children less likely to contract the virus?

Quoting the words of WHO Director-General, Dr.Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus: “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we are fighting an infodemic”. To this date, there is no scientific evidence that any of these alternate remedies can prevent or cure the illness caused by this virus. Relying on unverified information may undermine the most effective preventive measures like hand and respiratory hygiene.

Are there any vitamins that we can increase in our children’s diets (and/or with supplements) in order to help keep our kids healthy and resilient against the virus? Such as Vit C, for example? If so, which vitamins and minerals and in what quantities?

Though micronutrients like vitamin C and Zinc may be helpful to individuals who have deficiencies, there is no scientific evidence available to prescribe specific vitamins and minerals to keep kids or adults resilient against the virus. A well-balanced diet and regular physical activity is good enough to enhance the innate immunity of the children and to maintain the readiness of our immune system to new challenges.

What about pregnant mums? How would the COVID-19 impact them and their foetus/baby?

Fortunately, pregnant women are not highly affected by this infection and no mother- to-baby transmission of COVID-19 has been reported yet. There are no reports of fetal malformations, like the Zika virus, either.

Do you have any specific advice for pregnant mums?

There’s no need to panic at all. Keep your mind calm and happy. Follow the advice of your doctors and practice hand hygiene measures. Stay away from sick people. Update your flu vaccine status.

In the era of smart phones and communication over social media, false messages related to health are traveling at lightning speed. Kindly approach health experts for clarifications and do not believe all the information you receive on social media unless it’s verified by the authorities and is authentic.


Dr. Anuradha Gunasekharan

Specialist Pediatrician

Aster Speciality Clinic, International City



Covid-19 is gripping the world and many governments around the world have placed or enacted tough regulations to counter and contain the spread of the virus. While professionals and personnel from the healthcare industry are on the frontline battling this pandemic, most of us are helping them in the fight against the virus by staying safe and at home.

Something that we tend to overlook these days is the amount of food we intake and the reduction in physical activity. Many people also tend to binge and overeat in stressful environments and as there isn’t much to do at home, they find comfort in eating and may gain weight during this period. It also doesn’t help that being at home limits what you can do to keep yourself engaged.

Major signs of overeating

Overeating is one of the root causes of many conditions. If you are already at risk of developing health conditions, overeating without any physical activity would lead to many health problems starting with obesity.

If you have been eating at odd times or out of your regular diet schedule, while watching TV or even while working from home, these are signs of overeating. These are the times that we eat in addition to our routine, and also don’t realize how much
and what we consume.

Being watchful of the calorie intake and engaging yourself in productive activities such as yoga, light exercises and some stretching can be very beneficial during this period.

The ideal diet plan for people staying at home:

The best way to control what you eat is to reduce the amount of total carbohydrates that you consume, since physical activity is limited to just moving around the house.

Dal and legumes contain both proteins and carbs and can be had to compensate for not eating carb-only sources. You should also watch the total amount of fats and oils too, as they are calorically dense. People tend to consume something ‘special’ when they are free and at leisure, which invariably is high in fat content and can harm in the long run.

Add more fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. While nuts are considered to be healthy fats, they are calorically dense and should be consumed wisely only.

We do not recommend frozen foods, but in the time of an unprecedented crisis, they are the go-to as they are undeniably convenient. However, in the UAE, since there is no dearth of fresh food, why not make a habit of eating healthy.

Even if you have frozen food, keep the consumption to a minimum and rinse thoroughly to leach the extra salt and sugar added to them.

The most important takeaway here is to ensure that you keep yourself active mentally and physically to avoid developing conditions later. In these tough times,

1 – Try and be positive by engage yourself in activities that make you feel and think positive.

2 – Exercise also plays a major role in feeling good mentally. There are many online videos and apps available for exercises that can be done at home.

3 – Lastly, eat well and healhy. Consume thoroughly cooked food, especially meat and meat products. Reduce portion sizes by having a little less than usual of everything.


Ms. Lubna Abdussalam Dhalani

Registered Dietician,

Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai