5 Steps to Protecting Your Eyes
Worried about what long hours in front of the computer might be doing to your eyes? Or do you spend a lot of time outside in the sun? There are several factors that can adversely affect your eyesight. However, there are several ways of protecting your eyes to alleviate or even prevent vision problems.
1. Take a break
Nowadays we spend many of our waking hours in front of a screen – your computer at work, your TV, your iPad or Kindle and your smartphone. Constant use of electronic screens can be a contributor to eye problems, from dry and red eyes to eyestrain, headaches and more.
Make a conscious effort to spend time away from devices, even if only for a short time. You can also follow the 20-20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at an object at least 20 feet away and blink your eyes 20 times.
2. Your eyes are what you eat
Did you know that smoking can not only affect your lungs but also your eyes? It increases the chances of macular degeneration and can also damage the optic nerve. Similarly eating junk food has an adverse impact on your eyes, as excess sugar and carbs that break down into simple sugars can damage blood vessels in your eyes. Try eat a balanced diet, including leafy greens, oil-rich fish, eggs, nuts, berries and other eye-friendly foods.
3. Take care
If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you take proper care of them. Clean them regularly and, in the case of contact lenses, with prescribed cleaning solutions only. You should also never sleep with your contact lenses on unless specifically advised to do so by your eye care practitioner.
4. The sun’s still bright
Autumn may not be as hot and bright as summer, but the sun’s UV rays are not going anywhere just because it’s turned a bit cooler. In fact, the sun is a bit lower in the sky in autumn than in summer, so you’re getting a fuller blast of it straight into your eyes. Furthermore, the wind tends to pick up meaning there are higher chances of your eyes drying out or of getting debris in your eyes, so wear sunglasses when you’re out and about.
5. Recognise the signs
Don’t ignore early signs of vision problems. In adults, any changes in vision (near or distant objects appearing blurry, inability to read small print, frequent headaches etc.) need attention. Some eye problems can also be genetic, so if you have a family history of eye conditions you should be alert to any changes, however minor. Similarly, conditions such as lazy eye in children should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further issues later in life.
We’re here to help
The best thing you can do for your eyes is to have them tested regularly. Eye tests help in identifying vision problems and you can take corrective action sooner rather than later. At Leightons, as well as a standard sight test, we can also offer OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scanning and Optomap imaging to help detect possible eye health issues even earlier than traditional tests.