When was the last time you went to the optometrist for an eye test? Do you give your eyes enough rest from screens during the day? Keeping your eyes healthy is one of those things that many of us forget to bother with once we’re past school or university (as soon as we don’t have to look at a board at the front of the room any more!) and once our driver’s license is sorted.
However, as we use our eyes so much and eyesight can deteriorate with age, it’s important at any stage of life to make sure our peepers are healthy.
Turn off (or turn down) that screen!
With increased use of computers, smart phones and televisions, all the light these devices emit can cause a range of problems including blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches and eye strain. You can help alleviate these symptoms by making sure you’re looking at screens in well-lit areas, and reducing the brightness coming from the screen itself.
If you’re using a computer at a desk, your eyes should sit level with the top of the screen, which causes you to look down slightly while you work (so your eyes won’t be exposed to so much air).
Check your environment
Fluorescent lighting can be harsh on the eyes, as can hot or cold air (i.e from air conditioning) which can cause your eyes to dry out. Adjust your work environment to take some of the strain from your eyes and make sure you blink often. Take a break from screens and reading for around 10 mins in every hour to give your eyes a rest.
If you’re out in the bright sunlight, wear sunglasses to reduce the risk of ultraviolet damage and protect your eyes with safety goggles if you’re doing any hazardous jobs.
Improve your eyes from the inside out
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veges to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your eyes healthy. Also, make sure you drink water regularly.
Get an optometrist to give you a check up
The New Zealand Association of Optometrists recommends that everyone should get a check up at least once every two years to ensure your eyes are in good health. If it’s not just standard blurred vision you’re having and/or your vision has changed recently, it’s definitely time to visit the doctor or your optometrist. The Ministry of Health says eye symptoms that need medical attention include:
– A new or unexplained pain in your eye
– ‘Floaters’ (small specks in your field of vision)
– Unusual eye redness or wateriness
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Jeroen van Oostrom