When you consider the fact that you only have one pair of eyes your entire life and that poor vision can make it harder to read, drive and many other things we take for granted on a day-to-day basis, it becomes apparent just how important it is to take care of your eye health.
Today is World Sight Day, an annual awareness day which focuses global attention on blindness and visual impairment. In honour of this day, we’ve rounded up some top tips for looking after your eye health. Whether you’re blessed with perfect vision or already wear glasses or contact lenses on a daily basis, why not put a few of these things into practice to minimise the pressure you’re putting on your eyes?
Visit an eye care specialist regularly
It’s important to ensure you get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist to test for visual impairment and ensure you have good overall eye health. Your vision can deteriorate over time. Therefore, even if you had perfect vision at an appointment ten years ago, you shouldn’t assume that you still do; regular eye tests are recommended. Having no prescription when you need one, or the wrong prescription (for example, continuing to use a pair of glasses you were prescribed three years ago that are no longer right for you) can really damage your eyes.
Furthermore, if your optician finds that you need a prescriptive lens, you should ensure that you’re wearing your glasses or contact lenses whenever you need them to prevent eye strain and further damage. Finally, it’s important to remember to take your contact lenses out every night and to follow the appropriate cleaning instructions, in order to reduce the risk of drying your eyes out or getting an infection.
Remove your makeup every day
We’re often told that removing makeup is important to let our skin and pores breathe, but it’s equally important to get rid of eye makeup, such as eyeliner and mascara, to prevent irritation, eye infections or styes. You can use a product like our Sonya Refreshing Gel Cleanser to gently melt away makeup in a way that doesn’t tug or pull on the delicate skin around your eyes.
While we’re on the topic of makeup, never share your eye makeup with others! Doing so puts you at risk of sharing bacteria and infections.
Wear UV protection sunglasses
We all know how important it is to protect our skin by ensuring our sunscreen has both UVA and UVB protection, much like our Aloe Sunscreen does, but have you ever considered the UV protection in your sunglasses? A cheap pair may seem like a bargain, but they often don’t do the trick when it comes to eye protection. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sunshine, it’s especially important to make sure your glasses are blocking 99 to 100% of all harmful UV rays from reaching your eyes.
Get plenty of sleep
Ah, there’s nothing quite like a good sleep to help your body rest and repair itself. There are some things that your morning cup of coffee just won’t fix and they are the health issues that can often come hand-in-hand with a consistent lack of sleep. This is true for keeping your eyes healthy, too. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may find that you struggle with dry, irritated and itchy eyes, and you’ll be tempted to rub at them. This in turn usually contributes to more bacteria entering the eyes and puts you at a higher risk of infection. It’s important to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night for optimum all-round health and to avoid those side-effects.
Limit your screen time
Grandma’s warnings about getting square eyes from sitting in front of the TV all day may not be literal, but she certainly had a point; staring at a screen all day can be really bad for your eye health, and in this digital day and age we’re often staring at them for upwards of ten hours a day!
While it’s advisable to limit your screen time, we know that work obligations as well as the draw of smart phones and TV streaming services can sometimes make it difficult, so it’s important to put a few protective barriers in place. For example, you could implement the 20/20/20 rule at your computer while you’re working. Every twenty minutes, look away from your computer and focus on something at least twenty feet away for a minimum of twenty seconds to help refocus your eyes.
You can also minimise harmful blue light by changing your desktop or mobile phone screens to take on a more sepia tone, or by purchasing a pair of blue light minimising glasses. It may also be worth making it an aim to limit your television viewing time to give your eyes a rest in the evening or to put your phone away several hours before bedtime – something that will help with your sleep quality, too.
Taking the right vitamins
We all know the benefits of eating a well-balanced diet with regards to our fitness and weight, but did you know that there are also lots of foods that contain eye-supporting nutrients?
Some of the nutrients that are really key to eye health include vitamin A, zinc and copper. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids which are pigments found in plants and in your retina. They’re often found in greater amounts in leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage, kale and spinach, which is where you’ll also find high quantities of copper. Zinc helps to protect cells from oxidative stress and is often found in eggs, dairy products and meat, but for the vegans among us, legumes and seeds can be a good source too.
You can also supplement a well-balanced diet with our new Forever iVision which contains the antioxidant vitamins C and E to protect cells from oxidative stress, as well as beta carotene from vitamin A and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal vision.