January 2023 | Eurobio


Workplace stress is considered a growing problem around the world that affects the health and well-being of employees. It also reduces the workplace productivity of a company or an organisation. Workplace stress can be caused by various factors.  While some people may consider it as a positive stress that acts as a type of challenge to motivate them to learn new skills and master their jobs, there are certain people who may have a hard time coping with it. Challenges energise us physically and psychologically, but prolonged workplace stress will wear us out. Anyone can experience workplace stress at any point in their career.

What is workplace stress?

Workplace stress or work-related stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that can happen when the demands and requirements of the job do not match with the knowledge, capabilities, resources, or coping abilities of the worker. This type of stress becomes more serious when the employees are having very little support from their supervisors and colleagues, as well as having very little control over their work processes. 

What are the causes of workplace stress?

Workplace stress can be caused by various factors such as difference in personality, coping abilities or working conditions. Some of the more common causes are listed as per below:

  • Unsatisfactory working conditions

    Long working hours and shift work with infrequent rest breaks, hectic and routine tasks, monotony and meaningless tasks are potential stressors that contribute to workplace stress.

  • Unmatched expectations

    Conflicting or uncertain job expectations with too much responsibility may put workers in stressful situations.

  • Unpleasant working environment

    Poor working environment with constant exposure of noise, air pollution, unpleasant smell or exposure to dangerous physical conditions.

  • Organisation culture

    Workplace culture that may limit open communication and growth may affect the worker’s performance thus causing stress at work.

  • Lack of support

    Lack of processes, support and proper training and guidance may lead to confusion and uncertainty, which could result in a poor social environment that required for conducive growth.

  • Job insecurity

    Having little opportunity for growth advancement or promotion, overall job satisfaction and drastic changes in responsibilities without adequate time for workers to be prepared will lead to job insecurity and increase in their stress levels.

How to manage your stress levels at work?

Work-related stress does not just disappear when you head home for the day. A person who constantly suffering from work-related stress can help themselves in a number of ways, including:

  • Track your stressors

    Work-related stress can be caused by various situations and conditions. Keeping a journal for a few weeks or months can help to identify which situations create the most stress and your response towards them. You may record your thoughts, feelings and actions, including the people who were involved in that situation. All this information can help you to find patterns and identify your stressors, and change your reactions towards them.

  • Plan your task ahead to stay organised

    Being organised can avoid the negative effect of clutter, being more efficient with your work and less rushing in the morning to avoid being late. It can also lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed

  • Develop healthy responses towards stress

    Sometimes when stress is unavoidable, what we can do is try our best to make healthy choices when tension arises instead of attempting to fight stress with unhealthy eating habits like fast food or alcohol. For example, we can make time for hobbies or any favorite activities that bring us pleasure. Any kind of physical activity is also a good stress reliever. Yoga or any relaxation method can help us to calm our mind and take care of our mental health as well. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also an important part of stress management.

  • Creating a comfortable working environment

    It is not a surprise when an uncomfortable chair can be a potential stressor at work. Physical discomfort especially where you perform most of your daily tasks such as your chairs and desks can cause health issues such as back pain and in turn can be distracting and affect workplace productivity.

  • Establishing boundaries

    Although some people do not mind blending their work and home life together, establishing some work-life boundaries for yourself is a good way of managing work-related stress. By creating clear work and life boundaries, such as not checking email or answering phone calls after working hours may help to reduce potential work conflict and the stress that comes along with it.

  • Be realistic and reward yourself

    There are certain people who aim for perfectionism and try to do everything perfectly. While sometimes this is possible, we need to be realistic that we might not be able to do everything perfectly every time. Try to do your best and reward yourself such as having your favorite dessert after a meal or watching your favorite movie to congratulate yourself in your effort.

  • Get support from colleagues or friends and families

    Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed with your job, seek help from your supervisors. Having an open conversation with them as they may have stress management resources available including online information or counseling from mental health professionals. Your company may also offer courses such as time management courses or training that are relevant to your job scope. This can help you perform at your best and help to manage your stressor that you have identified. You should reach out to trusted friends and family members to help you cope with your stress levels.

Besides managing individually, companies and employers should also try and create a low-stress work environment for their workers and provide support to keep stress levels at work to a minimum.  Here are some examples of how employers can support their employees:

  • Provide physical and emotional support when employees are having trouble with their work or if they are having any difficulties such as dealing with family issues
  • Provide opportunities for career development and recognition of employees for good work performance
  • Cultivate an organisation culture that values all individual employees
  • Creating a quiet, comfortable, and soothing workspace for employees

Employers should watch out for changes in behaviour that leads to a drop in work performance resulting from stress e.g. 

  • Feeling withdrawn or isolated from others
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Increase in sick days
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships with colleagues and superiors
  • Impatient behaviour
  • Making mistakes & errors in judgements

What are the outcomes of long-lasting work-related stress?

Just like any other stressor, work-related stress can have an impact on our overall health. Experiencing stress in the long run will constantly put our body in preparation for the fight-or-flight response, or the stress response.

When stress response is activated for a long period due to chronic stress, it will cause wear and tear on the body. Long-lasting work-related stress not only causes physical and mental health damage to our health, changes in behavior of an employee will also affect their work outcome and in turn reduce the productivity of the company. It will also affect their quality of life.

Outcomes of prolonged work-related stress may include:

  • Physical symptoms

    • Headache
    • Muscle tension
    • Fatigue
    • Having difficulty sleeping
    • Constantly falling sick with poor immune system
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Problems with the gut such as constipation or diarrhoea
  • Psychological symptoms

    • Unable to think clearly and having trouble paying attention
    • Increasing forgetfulness and irritability
    • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
    • Feeling of discouragement
    • Anxiety
    • Depression

Stress management in the workplace is important and companies should take steps to ensure their employees are not subjected to unnecessary stress. In some countries, stress management is included as a significant health and safety issue in ensuring the staff wellbeing.


  • American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Coping with stress at work. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/topics/healthy-workplaces/work-stress
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/default.html#:~:text=done%20about%20it.-,What%20Is%20Job%20Stress%3F,poor%20health%20and%20even%20injury
  • World Health Organization. (n.d.). Occupational health: Stress at the workplace. World Health Organization. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/ccupational-health-stress-at-the-workplace 

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Vitamin C is a fairly common and popular nutrient that many have talked about when it comes to a healthy and balanced diet.  As vitamin C is present in various foods, many of us consume this vitamin every day and feel like we have understood all about vitamin C. However, there are still many questions or misconceptions surrounding this vitamin, and we will be discussing the importance, the common facts and myths about vitamin C in the post below.

Importance of Vitamin C in our lives

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and considered the safest nutrient needed for normal growth and development. Vitamin C is required for wound healing, forming important protein for healthy growth, repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. 

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that shields our body from free radical damages and ensures the proper functioning of our immune system. For many years, vitamin C has been considered a popular household remedy for the common cold as studies have shown that people with healthy vitamin C levels might have slightly shorter colds duration or experience milder symptoms.

Here are a few facts and myths surrounding vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C is only important for immunity

    It’s a Myth. Vitamin C is not only needed to improve our immune system. It is involved in many growth and repair processes in our body. Our body needs vitamin C to help make bones, cartilage, skin and muscles, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also important for new skin and scar tissue when we have a wound and it also slows down the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Vitamin C can help in iron absorption

    It’s a Fact. Iron is found in animal foods that contain hemoglobin, such as meat, fish, and poultry. Vitamin C helps in converting iron that is poorly absorbed into a form that is easier to absorb.  Drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C when taking iron products can increase the amount of iron absorbed into the bloodstream.

  • Vitamin C is safe for pregnant women

    It’s a Fact. During pregnancy, vitamin C is needed for both mothers and babies. Beside using it for tissue repair and wound healing, vitamin C is needed for the development of bones and teeth for the baby. Having low intake of vitamin C could be associated with complications in pregnancy such as high blood pressure, anaemia or having a small baby.

  • Our body produces vitamin C

    It’s a Myth. Our body does not make or store vitamin C therefore it is important that we obtain sufficient vitamin C through our daily meals or supplementations. Vitamin C deficiency is mainly seen in malnourished adults. Many health conditions will arise due to vitamin C deficiencies and in extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy, anemia, bruising, bleeding, and loose teeth.

  • You can’t consume too much vitamin C

    It’s a Myth. Since vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that will not be stored in the body, the risk of overdosing with vitamin C is very low as the excess amounts are excreted out from our body. However taking extreme doses of vitamin C may still cause vitamin C overdose symptoms with side effects such as:

    • Heartburn
    • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
    • Headache
    • Stomach cramps or bloating
  • Vitamin C can cure the common cold

    It’s a Myth. No doubt Vitamin C plays a key role in immune function and strengthening our immunity, studies have shown that it does not cure the common cold directly. However, sufficient intake of vitamin C does show a decrease in severity of cold symptoms and duration of cold.

  • Vitamin C may help reduce the risk of gout

    It’s a Fact. Although more research is still needed, there are studies that suggest vitamin C may help to protect against gout flare by reducing the levels of uric acid in our blood, as compared to those who were not supplemented with vitamin C. However, insufficient evidence shows that vitamin C can help with the severity or frequency of gout flares.

  • The main source of vitamin C is citrus fruits

    It’s a Myth. Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, but they are not the only source. Vitamin C can also be obtained from certain vegetables such as bell pepper and green peas. Both contain high amounts of vitamin C as well.

It is important to understand what facts are true to vitamin C while which ones are just myths so that proper intake of Vitamin C to manage certain health conditions can be taken, when needed. Vitamin C may not decrease your risk of catching a cold, but it is still important for us to take in sufficient amounts of this nutrient for our everyday life. 

Having a healthy balanced diet will ensure sufficient intake of vitamin C. Patients with special dietary requirements or taking certain medications should always speak to their health care professionals on how much vitamin C they should take each day as personalised dietary and supplementation plans might be required to help them maintain a healthy vitamin C level.



  • Choi, H. K., Gao, X., & Curhan, G. (2009). Vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in men. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(5), 502. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2008.606
  • Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc. (2018, July 12). Truths and myths about vitamin C. Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.mantachieclinic.org/truths-myths-vitamin-c/
  • Vitamin C. The Nutrition Source. (2021, May 27). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/

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Night blindness is a condition which may have several causes that lead to different symptoms. Night blindness may exist from birth, or caused by an injury or malnutrition. Some types of night blindness are treatable while other types are not, depending on the nature of the cause. Once the cause of night blindness is identified, steps can be taken together with your healthcare provider to correct your vision. In this article, we will be discussing night blindness, the symptoms, the potential causes, treatment and prevention of night blindness.

What is night blindness?

Nyctalopia, or night blindness is the inability to see well at night or in places with poor lightings. Our eyes are constantly adjusting to light where the pupils will dilate and allow more light to enter while in low light. Night blindness is often associated with the inability of our eyes to adapt well from a well-illuminated to a poorly-illuminated environment. It can also be described as insufficient adaptation to darkness.

Why is knowing about night blindness important?

Night blindness is not a disease itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying eye problem. Although night blindness affects a person’s ability to see in a low light environment, it does not cause complete blindness. However, problems may arise while driving at night due to the inability to see the road signs and obstacles on the road, causing significant danger. It may also take a long time for our eyes to adapt when going from a light to dark setting.

What are the symptoms of night blindness?

Symptoms of night blindness can be detected when you are walking or driving in the dark, which includes:

  • Having blurry or poor vision while driving in the dark
  • Having to squint excessively especially at night or when the environment is dim-lighted
  • Struggling to see and adapting to the dark while driving at night
  • Having difficulties moving around in dark places
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker areas

As night blindness is a symptom of underlying conditions, other symptoms may occur as well depending on the underlying cause such as:

  • Eye pain
  • Headache
  • Cloudy vision or vision impairment
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty in seeing far away objects

What are the common causes of night blindness?

The light sensitive tissue in the back of our eyes, which is called the retina, contains all the photoreceptor cells. Photoreceptors consist of cone cells and rod cells with different functions respectively. The cone cells provide colour vision which enables us to see during the day while the rod cells are responsible for black and white vision, enabling us to see in the dark. Night vision is mostly black and white therefore damages in the rod cells will cause night blindness. 

  • Vitamin A deficiency

    One of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. Vitamin A is needed for our body to produce the pigment needed for night vision. Our photoreceptors in the eyes cannot work correctly without these pigments.

  • Short-sightedness or myopia

    Myopia occurs when you have trouble seeing distant images and objects. Vision during daytime will appear unclear as well as during the night when seeing things in low light.

  • Glaucoma

    Glaucoma occurs when the eye pressure increases and causes progressive damages to the optical nerve. This affects both daytime and nighttime vision.

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) happens when aging causes damage to the macular region of the eyes, which affects our central vision. It can cause blind spots and image distortion.

  • Diabetes

    Diabetic patients are at risk of damage to blood vessels that will lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. One of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include poor night vision.

  • Cataracts

    Cataracts affect mainly older people as it is a natural aging process. Cataracts will affect vision clarity, causing blurry vision due to the proteins that make up the eye’s lens begin to crystallise and harden. The first sign of cataract is usually increased difficulty while driving at night due to decreased night vision.

  • Retinitis pigmentosa

    This is a rare eye disease that affects the retina. It will make the cells in the retina break down slowly over time, causing permanent vision loss. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disease and the most common early symptom presented is the loss of night vision and side vision.

How is night blindness diagnosed?

To identify the underlying causes of night blindness, your healthcare provider will ask about your family history and perform thorough eye exam to test for any eye diseases. Blood samples may be collected to measure your vitamin A and glucose levels. They may also consider asking a few questions related to your conditions, to check your eye health and see if you are showing any symptoms related to night blindness.

How to prevent night blindness?

Night blindness caused by genetic conditions cannot be prevented. Changes in lifestyle habits and diets can prevent and decrease the risk of some eye diseases and conditions that may affect night vision such as:

  • Eating food rich in vitamin A

    Typically foods that are orange and yellow in colour are rich in vitamin A such as carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and mangoes. Vitamin A can also be found in dark leafy greens and eggs.

  • Having regular eye examinations

    Regular eye examinations can have an early detection of any eye diseases which increase your chances of a successful treatment outcome. This will reduce your risk of night blindness.

  • Maintain a healthy glucose level

    Reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy by taking your medication as prescribed, together with lifestyle changes and dietary intake.

  • Get regular exercise

    Moderate exercise at least 5 times a week can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure and blood sugar. This in turn will reduce the risk of developing many eye conditions such as glaucoma. 

  • Wearing sunglasses outdoors

    Sunglasses can protect our eyes from the harmful rays of UV which will cause retinal damages after prolonged exposure. This will increase the risk of us getting cataracts, AMD and glaucoma.

What treatment options are available?

Treatment for night blindness varies from patient to patient depending on the cause of the condition. Treatment may include:

  • Surgery such as cataract surgery to replace the cloudy lens of the eyes
  • Medicated eye drops such as that to treat glaucoma
  • Wearing specific types of glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision
  • Taking sufficient vitamin A through food or supplementation. Vision should return to normal once your vitamin A levels are well regulated
  • If diabetic retinopathy is the cause of the night blindness, taking medication and undergo surgery can help to relieve night blindness problems

Although there are no current treatments for night blindness caused by genetic conditions, certain devices and therapies can help to improve the symptoms and quality of life.

Poor night vision may cause inconvenience and danger in daily activities therefore one should not be driving at night, or should avoid having to navigate in the dark alone.  Always schedule your eye exams regularly for early detection for any eye conditions for early treatment.



  • MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Night blindness: Symptoms and treatments. Medical News Today. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324004
  • Russ. (2021, August 1). Night blindness: Treatments and prevention. Optometrists.org. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from https://www.optometrists.org/general-practice-optometry/guide-to-eye-conditions/guide-to-blurry-vision-and-headaches/having-difficulty-seeing-at-night/what-causes-night-blindness/night-blindness-treatments-and-prevention/
  • Russ. (2021, July 22). What causes night blindness? Optometrists.org. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.optometrists.org/general-practice-optometry/guide-to-eye-conditions/guide-to-blurry-vision-and-headaches/having-difficulty-seeing-at-night/what-causes-night-blindness/

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