Computer screens, mobile phone screens, televisions screens, handheld video game screens, there are screens everywhere! These tips from Brigid Sweeney at Women’s Health can help you preserve your eyes in the face of all these screens.
Preserve Your Eyesight
Excessive time with technology aside, the quality of your eyesight depends largely on your genes. Yet another thing to blame on the ‘rents: You’re more likely to need glasses if Mom and Dad both wear them. Still, you can do a lot to keep your eyes healthy.
- Put Down the Cigarettes
Puffing away narrows blood vessels all over the body, including in the eyes, upping the risk of macular degeneration and serious optic nerve damage.
- Use Self-Tanner and Splurge on Shades
Frequent UV exposure can increase your risk of cataracts and melanoma (yes, on your eyeballs). Whenever you’re out in the sun, wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Shelve the Redness-Removing Drops
That little bottle may help hide a hangover, but products that relieve redness work by cutting off blood flow to the eyes. Prolonged use can lead to rebound redness, a burning irritation, or damaged corneas.
- Try a Warm Compress
Eye glands and tear ducts can clog easily, and then become infected. Lay a damp washcloth over your eyes for 10 minutes once a week to loosen things up.
- Eat a Dark Green Salad
Yes, carrots are good. But the antioxidants found in leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, also protect vision. Throw in some salmon or flaxseed while you’re at it: Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids help counteract dry eyes.
- Practice Visual Hygiene
Wash your hands before handling contact lenses, and never wear them longer than recommended. Bad lens habits can lead to infections and painful corneal ulcers.
- Schedule Regular Checkups
You book annual exams for your general health and should do the same for your eyes. Your doc will check your prescription and look out for other eye issues, like glaucoma. She can also keep tabs on any possible CVS-related vision changes, so speak up about your screen time.
And when it does come to technology, take breaks from long periods of time in front of your screen. Allow your eyes time to de-focus on objects around you- for example place find two objects in your direct field of vision, one up close, like a pencil holder or coffee mug, and the other further off, like a bookcase or door frame. Practice focusing on one object for ten seconds, and then the other for ten. Also allow your eyes to completing de-focus and ‘zone out’. This relieves tremendous strain on the eyes. Also, when using laptops and mobile devices put them below nose-level to promote blinking- when you always have to look up at a screen, you will blink even less!