how to protect your eyes

10 Tips to Protect Your Vision

Written by Dr. Crystal Lewandowski

If you’re wondering how to protect your eyes in the age of remote work, social media, and screen time, you’re not alone. Maybe you frequently forget to safeguard your eyes with sunglasses, or you have a job requiring you to sit at the computer for most of your workday. You might have also skipped your yearly eye exam. Unfortunately, these seemingly innocent oversights can eventually take a toll on your eyes.

Now is the time to make changes to preserve your vision! It’s never too late to adopt a healthier routine or break a bad habit. Here are a few tips that will help you get your eye health and vision back on track.

How To Protect Your Eyes: 10 Tips for Daily Life

Are you looking for some real-world examples of how to preserve your eyesight? Then, consider the ten tips below and speak to your eye doctor for a personalized plan for protecting your vision.

1. Keep Screens at a Distance

You’re not imagining the dry, scratchy eyes you get when you stare at a computer screen for hours. Glare from screens can lead to computer vision syndrome — a temporary condition that causes strain, discomfort, and light sensitivity. The American Optometric Association recommends positioning your screen at least 20 inches from your eyes.

People blink less when staring at screens, which can lead to dry, irritated eyes. Experts recommend the 20-20-20 rule for people who spend their workdays in front of computers, tablets, or other screens. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Set a timer to remind yourself to do this if you frequently have trouble with eye strain or dry eyes.

3. Always Wear Sunglasses

Learn how to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays when you are outside or driving during daylight hours. Exposure to UV rays during any time of year can contribute to the development of cataracts or age-related macular degeneration, as well as sunburns on your eyes (in extreme cases). Make sure that your sunglasses block 99% of UVA and UVB rays.

4. Optimize Your Diet With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, may help lower the risk of dry eyes and decrease your risk for eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. If you don’t like seafood, consider taking fish oil supplements or other supplements that contain omega 3’s, such as black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil.

5. Include More Greens in Your Diet

Are you wondering how to protect your eyes by changing your diet? Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, zucchini, peas, avocado, and Brussels sprouts contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study research conducted by the National Eye Institute demonstrated that certain dietary supplements, including these essential pigments, help prevent the progression of some eye diseases.

6. Control Your Blood Sugar

It may not seem like your overall health would affect your eyes, but in some cases, it can. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, maintaining blood sugar control is a component of protecting your vision. Too-high blood sugar can lead to eye problems — including blindness — if it’s not tightly controlled. According to the CDC, up to 90% of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented. If you have concerns about your blood sugar or overall health, contact your physician to schedule an exam sooner rather than later.

7. Pay Attention to Your Contact Lens Routine

Good contact hygiene is a significant component of learning how to protect your eyes. Always wash your hands before inserting or removing contacts, and store your lenses in a contact solution. Never use any liquids other than this contact lens solution to clean your contacts, and make sure you follow your eye doctor’s instructions for correct use. It’s essential to follow the replacements schedules corresponding with your contact lenses to avoid irritation, infection or vision loss. 

Be aware of eye drop use, too, especially if you have dry eyes when you work at your computer. Purchase a product that was formulated specifically for use with contacts, such as Blink for Contacts. If your contacts frequently bother you, consider switching to daily contacts. These lenses are more breathable and comfortable. Additionally, they do not require storage as you put in a fresh pair every day, and there’s no need to keep track of a replacement schedule. 

Keep a backup pair of glasses for days when your eyes feel dry or irritated — and make sure to discard any contact lenses you’ve used with an infection, such as pinkeye. 

8. Discard Old Eye Makeup

Learn how to protect your eyes daily by addressing your makeup drawer. Old eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow brushes can be contaminated with bacteria that can contribute to eye infections. Throw away or replace any eye makeup that is over four months old. Sharpen eyeliner pencils regularly, and don’t put liner on the inside of your eyelid. If your eyes become irritated, stop using eye makeup until they heal.

9. Wear Protective Eye Gear

Always wear protective eyewear or safety goggles if your work requires eye protection. Consider eye safety measures when working in the garden, completing home repairs, or dealing with strong cleaning substances such as bleach or oven cleaners.

10. Schedule a Yearly Eye Exam

Visiting your eye doctor for a comprehensive vision exam at least once a year is vital. Yearly eye exams are not only helpful in learning how to keep good eyesight and detect early signs of eye disease, but they are also an important indicator of your overall health. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, routine exams allow your eye doctor to detect signs of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, brain tumors, aneurysms, and multiple sclerosis.

Learn How To Protect Your Eyes Today

The tips listed here will help you keep your eyes safer daily — but they won’t take the place of a comprehensive eye exam. Schedule your appointment today, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of our experienced doctors and staff at True Eye Experts. We look forward to helping you learn how to protect your eyes for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Crystal Lewandowski

Dr. Crystal Lewandowski, OD, FAAO is the Clinical Director of Vision Services at North End Waterfront Health and an Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry at the New England College of Optometry. She has published several peer-reviewed papers in the Journal of Optometric Education, and has received grant funding to enhance optometric education and community outreach programs.

Dr. Lewandowski received her a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from the New England College of Optometry in 2013, is residency trained in Ocular Disease and Primary Eye Care, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO).

Dr. Lewandowski has taught hundreds of optometry students in various community health centers in Boston, MA, and is passionate about eye health advocacy at an organizational level, in local communities, and nationally within healthcare reform. She has participated in legislative visits to support the development of a statewide children's vision registry in Massachusetts, and has secured national funding to increase awareness of the importance of eye care for children.

When not practicing optometry, Dr. L enjoys traveling with her family, hiking, and camping in the New England area.


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