April 30, 2021
We only have one life so it’s important to take care of our physical and mental health so that we can live it to the fullest. Nevertheless, when every day seems busy and you have other people to look after too, it can be easy to let your own self-care slip down your list of priorities. One area of our wellbeing that often gets overlooked is our eye health.
Despite relying on them for every waking moment, many of us take our eyes for granted. We don’t always think about the effects our actions could have on our eyes and vision – for example, going out without wearing sunglasses or spending long hours in front of a computer screen. However, what our eyes are exposed to can actually have a very real effect on our health and wellbeing. May is Healthy Vision Month and the perfect time to show your eyes some love. Here are a few reasons why caring for your eyes is an important form of self-care.
Protect Your Eyes From The Sun
Most people know the importance of wearing sunblock to protect their skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. However, far less attention is paid to protecting our eyes, even though UV light can be just as damaging to our eyes and vision. Conditions like corneal sunburn increased the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, and even cancer can all occur if your eyes are left unprotected.
Choose sunglasses that are proven to block 100% of UV rays (check the sticker or tag to confirm this) and wear them outside as much as possible, even on cloudy days. This is because UV can also penetrate cloud coverage.
Avoid Digital Eye Strain
Whether it’s a laptop computer, a handheld tablet, or a smartphone, we are nearly all spending more time than ever using digital devices. Unfortunately, doing so places our eyes under a great amount of strain. There is a combination of reasons for this – it’s harder for us to focus as easily on digital screens, we naturally blink less often causing our eyes to become drier and the harshness of the light emitted from the digital device can be hard to adjust to. This can cause the range of symptoms we associate with digital eye strain, which includes dry eyes, eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, neck pain, excessive watering, eye irritation, and more. Unsurprisingly, these symptoms can affect our quality of life, so combatting digital eye strain is crucial for keeping your eyes healthy and functioning well. You can reduce the symptoms by spending less time using digital devices, taking regular breaks, and adjusting the contrast on your screen so it places your eyes under less pressure.
Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light
Digital devices also produce lots of blue light. The sun is our most natural source of blue light, and we all need some each day to help balance our sleep-wake cycle, boost our mood and cognitive function, and enable us to function more effectively during the day. However, too much blue light, especially artificial blue light such as that emitted by a digital device, can have the opposite effect. Studies have found that people who are over-exposed to blue light can experience problems like blurred vision, eye strain, dry eye, increased risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, and even insomnia.
Prescription eyewear can now serve as a form of protection against excessive amounts of blue light. Your optician can provide information on which lens options will help protect your eyes from UV light, blue light, and even glare from bright headlights!
If you would like more information on Healthy Vision Month, or if you’d like more tips on the best way to take care of the health of your eyes, please call the East Main Vision Clinic eye care team in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 444-2800 today!