The National Eye Institute (NEI) recognizes May as Healthy Vision Month. Peepers wants to make sure you protect your peepers, so we have a few tricks and tips in celebration of your beautiful eyes!
Get an annual dilated eye exam
You may think your eyes are healthy and your vision is fine, but most eye diseases don’t show early warning signs. By the time you notice something is wrong, it’s too late to correct the damage. Visiting your optometrist once a year for a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to catch these diseases in the earliest stages.
During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your optometrist will put drops in your eyes to dilate the pupil. It might feel a little funny, but not to worry--it doesn’t hurt! Your eye care professional will then use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina at the back of the eye. After the examination, you may experience blurry vision when trying to focus on close objects, but this side effect will pass after a few hours.
Use protective eyewear
According to the NEI, a sports-related eye injury is treated in an ER in the United States every thirteen minutes. And about 2,000 U.S. workers seek medical treatment for a job-related eye injury every day. Proper eyewear, like safety shields, safety glasses, goggles, and eye guards, can prevent those injuries from happening.
The NEI provides information to help you find the proper eyewear for each sport.
For eyes safety guidelines on the job, see the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Staring at the computer screen for long periods of time also has a major impact on your eyes, and as we spend more and more time on our digital devices, the research is pouring in to reinforce this. Consider using glasses designed to block some of that harmful blue light. We offer an innovative line called Focus™ that reduces glare and blocks twenty percent of blue light emitted from digital screens. Also implement the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes, look away from your screen and focus on an object about twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This will give your eyes a break from having to stay focused on the screen right in front of them.
Know your family’s eye health history
Eye color isn’t the only optical-related trait your parents pass down to you. Many eye diseases are hereditary, so it’s important to know if other family members have been diagnosed. Knowing your family history will help to determine your risk factor. Be sure to share this information openly with your eye doctor.
Harmful rays from the sun are just as bad for your eyes as they are for your skin. Ultraviolet rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium, which is a tissue growth over the white part of the eye that alters the curve of the eyeball and causes astigmatism. Luckily, we have just the fix! All our sunglass lenses offer UV 400 level protection, keeping your eyes safe while you shine in the sun with your own unique style.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Living healthy affects every part of your body, including your eyes. Drink lots of water and eat healthy foods, especially fruits, veggies, eggs, leafy greens, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon. Research backs powerful evidence for the benefits these foods have on your eye health.
Smoking is just as detrimental to your vision as it is your lungs. Researchers have linked smoking to a higher risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which have the potential to lead to blindness. If you’re a smoker, you should seriously consider options to help you quit. Research the pros and cons of various methods and consider finding a support group to help with the transition.
Maintaining a healthy body weight may not seem to have much effect on your eyes, but it does! Obesity increases your chances of developing diabetes or other systemic conditions, and vision loss can be a resulting side effect if diabetic eye disease or glaucoma develops. Get your heart rate up however suits you best—running, dancing, swimming, working out, playing sports—to manage your weight and your stress levels.
Most vision problems are preventable, so be sure to take the proper steps for a lifetime of healthy eyesight. Trust us, it’ll be worth it in the long run!
Please visit the National Eye Institute’s website for more information to protect your eyes: