As the saying goes, “Eyes are the windows to our souls.” So, why does it seem so many of us forget about protecting our eyes and getting our regular optometry checkups? Way too many of us can’t even remember the last time we saw an optometrist, and as we get older our eyes can begin to lose their sharpness. That’s why it’s important that you protect them and get regular check-ups so that you can maintain your vision as long as possible. Here are 5 tips for keeping your vision healthy.
Get Regular Checkups
This goes without saying, but you should be getting regular optometry check-ups at least once a year to keep your eyes in top shape. If your vision is starting to go bad and you don’t realize you need corrective contacts or glasses, you could make it worse over time, so it’s important that you get regular check-ups to prevent more serious problems.
We all know we should be eating healthy for every aspect of our well-being. Be sure to eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids like eggs, salmon, tuna, and other oil-rich fish. Lutein, vitamins C and E also help fend off vision issues. Of course, the usual suspects such as leafy green vegetables like collards, kale, and spinach are also essential to your eye health, so be sure to eat your greens like Mom said!
Take Breaks From The Computer
This is a tough one because many of us have to be on the computer constantly for work. The key is to take breaks to prevent eye strain. For every 2 hours of computer time, you should take a 15 minute break. Additionally, according to WebMD, you should look away 20 feet for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Just remember: 20/20/20.
Wear Sunglasses & Protective Eye Gear
Always wear sunglasses when you go outside in the sun. Not only does this help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but it also helps prevent crows feet and eye wrinkles -a definite plus! Also be sure to wear protective eye gear whenever you’re doing an activity that could cause harm to your eyes such as painting, sporting, home renovating etc.
Change Your Contacts As Prescribed
Nearly 41 million adults in the U.S. (that’s 1 in 10 people) and 125 million people worldwide wear contact lenses. This includes adults and children alike. Kids can start wearing contacts as young as 10 years old, so it’s important to start healthy contact habits early. According to the American Optometric Association’s 2015 American Eye-Q® Survey, more than 59% of Americans wear disposable contact lenses longer than they’re supposed to. Another one-third of contact wearers use improper wetting solution or even clean their contacts with tap water -a big no-no! Not only are these bad habits unhygienic, but they can cause all kinds of gross problems like pink eye, styes, bacterial infections and oxygen deprivation, which can do permanent damage to your eyes. So, no matter how tired, sick, or late you are, always care for your contacts properly. But don’t take our word for it; here is what the pros from The American Optometric Association recommend for proper contact lens care:
- Washing and drying hands before handling contact lenses;
- Carefully and regularly using cleaning solution to rub the lenses with fingers and rinsing thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in a sufficient multi-purpose disinfectant solution;
- Storing lenses in the proper lens storage case and replacing your case every three months; in addition cases should be rubbed with clean fingers, rinsed with solution, dried with a tissue, and stored upside down every night;
- Using fresh solution to clean and store contact lenses—never re-use old solution;
- Using products recommended by your eye doctor to clean and disinfect your lenses; and
- Removing contact lenses before exposing them to water.
Last, but certainly not least, always get your contacts from a reputable optometrist! Unfortunately, there is an increasing black market of decorative contact lenses that don’t meet quality or safety standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If you see contact lenses at flea markets, beauty supply stores, or on the street, steer clear! These off-market contact lenses can cause blurred vision, cornea inflammation, and even vision loss. Your eye sight is NOT worth saving a few dollars.
To learn more about properly caring for your contact lenses, check out the infographic below. To find a reputable optometrist near you, go to the Americaon Optometric Assocation website here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.