As someone who's been wearing glasses since she was 12 and spends far too much time in front of a monitor, I'm always careful about my eyes. I'm pretty sure I'm destined for bifocals by the time I'm 30, but there are ways to avoid that. In fact, there are lots of ways you can be kind of your eyes, most of which take minimal effort. Your sight is important, and even if you wear glasses or contacts now, you can still keep your eyes in good shape. If you don't, you can make sure to avoid the need!
1. Wear Shades
Here is one way you can be kind to your eyes and look crazy cool all the while. Protecting your eyes from the sun is actually just as important as protecting your skin. Ultraviolet rays are really damaging, and can lead to eyes that are itchy, gritty, or red. In the winter time, you should also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from snow glare.
2. Keep Your Contacts Clean
I can't even tell you how many times I've messed up my eyes because of my contacts. You have to be careful putting them in and taking them out, but you also need to keep them squeaky clean. Dirt or grit on your contacts can do damage to your cornea, your iris, and worse. Plus, if there are germs on your contacts, you can end up with some serious infections, like pink eye or iritis, which is absolutely awful.
3. Go with Goggles
There are many times when goggles are not just helpful, but necessary. If you play sports like tennis, it's recommended to wear a pair, because it could save you a black eye. Naturally, if you work in places where grit or debris are commonplace, you need to protect your eyes. It can also help when you're doing more mundane tasks, like mowing the lawn.
4. Eat Right
One way you can be kind to your eyes is to eat the right kinds of foods. I didn't know this myself, but there are lots of different foods that are good for your eyes. As the old tale says, carrots are one such food. In fact, any kind of vegetable with carotenoids will be good for you. Popeye had it right, as well: you should eat your spinach, along with broccoli, turnip and collard greens, and kale. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are extremely helpful as well.
5. See the Doctor
Regularly seeing your optometrist is also important. Children need to have their eyes checked periodically – typically at six months, three years, six years, and then every two years thereafter, until they turn 18. For adults, if you visit the eye doctor every two or three years, you're doing well. However, if you're between 41 and 60, you need to definitely go every two years, and if you're over 60, a yearly exam is best.
6. Be Careful with Computers
A lot of people spend most of their time in front of computers these days, either for work or for play – or both. Spending that much time in front of a monitor – not to mention tablets, Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and things like that – can really strain your vision. To this end, you can be kind to your eyes by making sure your computer screen is centered about four or five inches below your eye level, and anywhere between 20 and 28 inches away from your eyes. You also should reduce the glare on your computer screen, and take periodic rests.
7. Exercise Your Eyes
As a matter of fact, you can exercise your eyes. Naturally, as stated, you can and should take computer and reading breaks, but you can also build up the strength of your eyes by rotating your eyes – both at once – in a clockwise motion 25 times, then repeating the motions counterclockwise. You can also close your eyes, take your three middle fingers, and tape them very lightly around your eyes. Doing it for a minute at a stretch will greatly improve the way blood circulates in your eyes.
8. Know the Warning Signs
Finally, you need to be aware of all the signs that might point to something amiss. There are many such signs, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the most important of them. If your eyes have trouble adjusting to either the light or the dark, that's a warning. A lot of irritation, persistently dry or itchy eyes, double vision, extreme sensitivity, or color changes around your eyelids or irises, can all point to problems.
There are many more ways you can be kind to your eyes, and doing so is important because your eyes are going to be with you for a long time. Like your heart, your muscles, and your general health, you need to take care of your eyes – that way, they'll always take care of you. Do you have any other eye care tips?
Top Photo Credit: fensterbme