Your eyes are critical tools, but you might take them a bit for granted and not care for them as well as you should. If, for instance, you find yourself frequently getting blurry vision or headaches from eye strain, this could be a sign that your eyes are crying out for attention. So give it to them! Read on for a few tips about how to take care of your eyes.
Establish a Care Routine
Taking care of your eyes should become a habit for you. Each day, pay close attention to how your eyes feel and how well you are seeing. If you notice any odd changes in your vision or experience eye pain or extreme irritation, visit an eye care professional at once. You should actually visit the optometrist or ophthalmologist at least once a year, too, to have your eyes examined and then carefully follow any instructions.
Learn Your Family’s History
Eye diseases and vision troubles can sometimes be genetic, so learn your family’s eye history. Talk to your parents or aunts and uncles, and see if they have any eye issues or know of any that your ancestors dealt with. Then look up those problems online to learn about symptoms and risk factors. This way, you can recognize signs of trouble in yourself early on and get the care you need.
Minimize Eye Strain
If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, then you might be at risk for eye strain. Combat it by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away from the screen. Focus on an object 20 feet away from you for a few moments. Then blink 20 times in a row to re-moisturize your eyes. You might even add a fourth 20 by getting out of your chair and taking at least 20 steps around the room to get your body moving and give your eyes a little extra break.
Be careful, too, not to crowd too close to your screen. It’s easy to focus in and end up with your nose inches away from the monitor, but this is not good for your eyes. Instead, position your screen about an arm’s length away and about 20 degrees lower than eye level.
Mind Your Lighting
You can also avoid eye strain and care for your eyes by being mindful of your lighting. Make sure that the lighting in your office or workspace isn’t too harsh. Fluorescent lights can be especially hard on the eyes, as can unshaded light bulbs. Also, watch out for glares as these can create tension for your eyes, too. If, for instance, there is a window behind your desk, the sunlight coming through can bounce off your computer screen straight at you, causing quite a bit of discomfort. Put up window coverings to block the light during the brightest part of the day.
You should, though, make sure that you have enough light especially if you’re reading, doing crafts or working on anything close up. Don’t try to do any of this in the dark or even in a dim environment. Bring in a good lamp. For extremely close craft work, you might even get a special lamp that mimics daylight and comes with a built-in magnifier. Your eyes will thank you.
Your eyes will also thank you if you cover them up with sunglasses outdoors and while you’re driving. Sunlight with its UV rays is very hard on the eyes, so protect yourself from direct sunlight and glares from reflective surfaces. If you wear prescription glasses, you can order a pair of prescription sunglasses. If not, look for a pair that blocks out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Care for Your Glasses or Contacts
Part of taking care of your eyes is taking care of the devices that help you see better, like your glasses and contacts. Keep them clean, and watch for any damage. Use the recommended solutions for your contacts, and always wash your hands before handling them.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Finally, you can improve your eye health by improving your overall health. Strive for a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine. Also, manage health conditions like diabetes that can cause eye problems down the road.
Your eyes are important, so keep them safe, and care for them well for a lifetime of good vision.