Our eyes help us navigate each day – enabling us to get our work done, connect with family or friends, and enjoy our favorite pastimes. Despite all our eyes do for us, it’s easy to overlook our eye health. Learn how the right eye care can protect your vision.
Take Care of Contact Lenses and Wear Them Correctly
Wearing contact lenses is fairly straightforward. But after a few years (or years and years) of wearing lenses, it can seem like not such a big deal to fall asleep in them or skip a few steps when cleaning them. Taking proper care of your contacts and following instructions can help keep your eyes healthy.
Be sure you:
- Replace your contacts according to the schedule provided by your doctor or brand.
- Replace your contact case every three months to reduce the risk of contamination or infection from a dirty or damaged case.
- Remove contacts before showering or swimming.
- Use a sterile solution to clean contacts, and don’t use water or saliva to rewet them.
- Wash hands thoroughly before handling contacts.
Reduce Screen Time
Screen time isn’t just bad for the brain and body: It’s bad for our eyes. Considering that Americans spend approximately 10 hours a day looking at a screen, it’s important to take some simple steps to help protect your eyes.
Staring at a screen – whether it’s a computer, phone, tablet or TV – can strain the eyes from the exposure to the blue light of digital devices. Symptoms of digital eyestrain include:
- Dry eye
- Eye fatigue
- Irritated or itchy eyes
- Red eyes
You can protect your eyes from digital eyestrain by:
- Keeping screens an arms-length away
- Limiting screen time
- Making sure the lighting in the room is brighter than the device you’re using
- Raising the contrast of your screen
- Using a humidifier where you work to help keep eyes moist
- Using a matte screen filter to cut glare
- Wearing glasses more often
Wear Protective Eyewear
The term “protective eyewear” can bring up images of safety glasses. But, it’s so much more than that. Your sunglasses are one of your most important pieces of protective eyewear. Regularly wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays can help reduce your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium, which can cause astigmatism. You should also wear a hat to help protect your eyes.
If your job requires use of specialty eyewear, be sure you wear it regularly and safely. A simple pair of safety goggles or glasses can help protect your eyes from stray pieces of material that may cause damage to your eyes. Some sports, like basketball, football and hockey, also call for protective eyewear to help keep you or your athlete’s eyes healthy.
Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that eyes need at least five hours of sleep to rest and replenish? Sleep helps our eyes work properly and protects our vision. Not getting enough sleep may cause:
- Dry eye
- Eye spasms
- Popped blood vessels
Make sure you get enough “shut eye” by going to bed at the same time and aiming for at least seven hours of sleep each night.
Get a Thorough Eye Exam Every Year
An annual eye exam is an important part of maintaining your health, even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts. A comprehensive, dilated eye exam gives your optometrist or ophthalmologist the opportunity to check the health of your eyes, and identify health conditions or complications of high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma and overall eye health. Find an optometrist or ophthalmologist near you and schedule your eye exam.
At Emory Healthcare, we’re here to help you find the care you need when you need it. With more than 2,800 doctors and 300 locations, including 11 hospitals, as well as primary care offices, urgent cares and MinuteClinics, we’re delivering specialized care across the region. Find a doctor near you to help you get and stay healthy.