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4 Tips for Staying on Top of Your Eye Health

By Rena Justine:

 

Image credit: freepik

Good vision is an integral aspect of wellness, being that the eyes are used across various aspects of daily life, from personal to professional matters. In line with this, a National Eye Health Education Program survey found that 70% of respondents said losing their eyesight would have the biggest negative impact on their everyday routines. Unfortunately, ocular issues are on the rise. Globally, over 2 billion people have some sort of vision impairment. In the U.S., around 8% of the population have problems with their sight. 


Thankfully, most vision issues are treatable, and total vision loss can often be prevented. That said, here are a few simple but highly effective tips for better eye health.



Invest in the Right Eyewear


One of the most efficient ways to protect your eyes is via the right corrective and protective eyewear. Apart from the more commonly used UV-blocking sunglasses, look into glasses you can wear indoors, too. For starters, given that the average adult logs over seven hours of screen time daily, blue light glasses are essential. These specs can come with or without prescriptions and filter out harmful wavelengths that can cause issues in your retinal cells, circadian rhythm, and more.


In the event that you already have vision issues, making sure to wear the right prescription glasses consistently is also important. Aside from addressing single-vision concerns, these ophthalmologist-prescribed glasses can also use progressive or bifocal lenses for those with more complex refractive errors. Acquiring and wearing these glasses ensures that your eyes are not overcompensating due to poor eyesight, causing further ocular strain. Retailers such as LensCrafters highlight that both blue light and prescription glasses can come in a variety of trendy styles and brands, such as Ray-Ban Hawkeyes and Versace aviators. As such, it’s easy to find something that suits your vision needs and stylish preferences. 


Go In for Regular Eye Exams


According to the CDC, almost 100 million Americans are at risk for vision loss, but only half of this population has been to an eye doctor in the last year. For many, this is because they either underestimate the severity of their ocular problems or think seeing an ophthalmologist is bothersome. As hinted above, though, eye exams play a crucial role that cannot be overlooked.


Apart from catching and treating vision issues, eye tests can even detect other serious illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Experts say those aged 19 to 64 years old should actually have yearly comprehensive tests. During these tests, doctors can note any pupillary abnormalities that may need correcting. Otherwise, even if it proves your vision is 20/20, the doctor can still advise personalized care plans to suit your lifestyle. For instance, they may ask that somebody with good vision who swims often wear special goggles to prevent dry eye. What’s more, there are a myriad of convenient places to get eye exams. Major retail chains such as Target offer eye exams, which can be booked online depending on the state. 



Try to Sleep Better


During sleep, the eyes are able to recover from the day’s strain. This includes being able to heal any minor irritations, re-lubricate the eyeballs, flush out toxins, and encourage tear production. Conversely, when the eyes are deprived of sleep, blood circulation is impaired. This can negatively impact oxygenation and nutrient delivery, thereby “weakening” the eyes. Over time, this can lead to anything from dry eyes to glaucoma.


To prevent this, adopt a better sleep routine. About 30 minutes before bedtime, stay away from any gadgets or snacks, as they often overstimulate the body. At the same time, you’ll want to turn your bedroom into a relaxing space with dim lights, a cool temperature, and soothing music or aromas, if needed. Some people find that tracking their sleep cycles helps with accountability, so apps such as SleepScore both monitor your nightly rest and also help wake you in a way that prevents grogginess. 


Make Time to Unwind


Much like the rest of the body, the eyes are vulnerable to stress. So much so, in fact, that chronic stress can result in blurry vision, photosensitivity, and even the premature development of macular degeneration. While nobody is totally immune to stress, you can drastically reduce it or at least change how you process triggers.



One of the best ways to do so is to make time for yourself. Consider a lifestyle change that can help you live better. Carving out even just an hour for you every day is beneficial. During this time, avoid any outside distractions and focus on what makes you happy. This can be anything from starting a side project to working out to simply meditating. Doing so regularly will bring balance to your life and prevent anything from overwhelming you or your body. 


 

Rena Justine

Rena Justine is a teaching consultant who provides guidance to schools across the country. Through her online articles, she hopes to impart her 10 years of experience to help others. She spends most of her free time in the park with her husband and three children.

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