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You might have heard that eyes are the window to the soul, yet taking good care of your eyes and vision are easily forgotten parts of maintaining your health and wellness. In today’s society, a lot of extra stress on your eyes comes from studying, reading, and working on the computer. It’s important to remember to take a break sometimes and let your eyes rest. Here are some healthy tips for your eyes during common activities:

How to Care for Your Eyes While Reading

Reading nonstop for too long and working on the computer will strain your eyes and can lead to dreadful migraine headaches. During these activities, you tend to blink less, making your eyes dry and tired. A quick fix to this dilemma is to take a break every 30 to 45 minutes. Use this time to stand up, stretch, and look away from your textbook or computer screen. Consider splashing your face with cool water or pressing your palms against your eyelids to soothe them. Also, study in good light. Natural light is best, so try to keep your windows open when you study. In the evening, turn on the lights to reduce stress on your eyes.

Also, make sure to turn off your electronic devices well before going to sleep. Artificial light decreases the secretion of melatonin which in turn interferes with your sleep cycles.

How to Care for Your Eyes While Outside

No matter the weather, it’s a good idea to invest in a good pair of sunglasses that provide UV protection. It’s a commonly known fact that UV rays are harmful to your eyes and skin. This type of short‐wavelength light can cause long‐term damage to the eye, especially to the retina. So, be sure to put on some shades and keep your eyes safe!

If you wear contact lenses or glasses, make sure to keep them clean and get regular checkups to make sure the prescription you are using is accurate. In case of an injury or problem in the eye, it is best to refrain from using contact lenses until the injury has completely healed. This will prevent any type of infection or permanent damage. Keeping your hands and face clean and avoiding touching your eyes will also prevent common eye infections like conjunctivitis. Also, make sure not to share eye makeup with others to avoid spreading bacteria.

How to Care for Your Eyes While Eating

Eat a wholesome diet. Don’t forget to include plenty of leafy greens and vegetables! Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as broccoli and spinach, are good for your eyes, and can reduce the risk of serious eye diseases, like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Caring for your eyes is a very important, but often forgotten, responsiblity.

Image source: Stephen Smith 

How to Care for Your Eyes While Researching

Make sure to always wear protective eyewear in a laboratory setting. Follow emergency protocol in case something does get into your eyes. Always wash your eyes thoroughly with water if they do become contaminated, and make sure to follow up with an eye checkup to make sure everything is okay.

How to Prevent Eye Problems

General eye checkups are also very important. Did you know that 80% of global blindness is preventable or curable? And the number one reason for blindness is uncorrected refractive errors. That is untreated myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism (improper curvature of the eye which leads to blurry vision). Making sure to regularly check your eyes is a big step towards preventing blindness. Your ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat any relevant vision conditions earlier and more effectively, preventing any large problems that could arise in the future if it remains untreated.

The second major cause of visual impairment or blindness is untreated cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens. This restricts the amount of light that is reflected to the retina and causes blurred vision. The eye lens is made primarily of water and proteins. With age, or due to a sudden impact or injury, these proteins can become damaged or can clump together. This causes a cataract to form. Early cataracts can be treated without surgery, but more advanced forms can only be treated effectively by surgically removing and replacing the eye lens with an artificial lens. Regular check-ups can prevent complications with cataracts as well.

How to Love Your Eyes

Taking care of your eyes is easy and simple. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to forget how important it is to do so. Taking the time to rest your eyes and protect them will preserve your precious vision for longer. Look out for your eyes, and they will look out for you too!

Feature Image Source: Warby Parker – Percey Sunglasses by Scott Akerman

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