With today’s multiscreen lifestyle, it’s concerning that most Brits aren’t overly worried about the condition of their eyes. A recent study of 2,000 adults found that 41% have eye issues they admit are impacting their quality of life, but 62% are delaying an eye exam for fear of surgery. Eye problems are usually innocuous, and 90% of vision loss could have been treated had preventative measures been taken. Given the importance of precaution, here are a few easy tips to stay on top of your eye health.
Applying the 20-20-20 rule
Brits spend an eye-opening 75% of their waking hours, or 13 hours daily, looking at screens. One way to mitigate the effects of prolonged screen time is to take regular breaks using the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a quick refresh to avoid eye strain. While screen time is inevitable for work or school, recreational screen time via movie streaming or video games should be managed. Using your phone’s internal screen time settings or a third-party app’s block features should do wonders. Excessive blue light exposure can also damage your retinal cells; a blue light screen protector could help.
Everybody knows sun exposure can damage the eyes, so sunglasses are essential in bright conditions. More specifically, wearing polarised sunglasses is ideal because these lenses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays while blocking glare for improved clarity and contrast. Ray-Ban’s Aviator Total Black is a modern version of the 1937 standard issue models worn by US pilots, now with temple tips, frames, and lenses in sleek black for ultimate versatility. Get the most out of your sunglasses by having separate, designated pairs in your everyday bag and car, so you’ll never be without protection.
While no single food can dramatically improve your vision, you can increase your intake of vitamins known to help with eye health, such as vitamins A, C, and E. It’s well established that carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. But research has shown that grapes are also ideal. In a study where participants ate one and a half cups a day, researchers observed a significant increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD), high levels of which are associated with healthy eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and tuna, are also known to promote your retina’s visual health.
Keeping up hygiene
Your eyes have a membrane called the conjunctiva that, when exposed to contaminants, may cause infection. Ensure your hands are clean before touching your eyes, especially when wearing contact lenses. It’s also important to avoid rubbing your eyes when itchy or irritated. If you wear mascara or eyeshadow, use an oil-based makeup remover to get rid of any traces. The CeraVe Comforting Eye Makeup Remover gently removes stubborn eye makeup using a soothing, milky formula, thoroughly cleansing without leaving behind a greasy feeling. It’s ophthalmologist-tested and is suitable for contact lens wearers as well.
Getting eye exams
Many eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, initially present with zero symptoms, which is why half of the 70-year-olds diagnosed with glaucoma weren’t even aware they had the disease until it was too late. If you’re in your 20s and 30s, you should get an eye exam every two years, but as you approach your 50s and beyond, eye exams should be an annual affair. The frequency your doctor recommends can vary, primarily if you use corrective eyewear. If you are already experiencing symptoms like blurry or distorted vision, it’s all the more important to get checked.
Prioritising your eye health doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg as long as you start early and stay consistent with good habits. By keeping your eyes clean, nourished, and protected, you can enjoy the benefits of healthy vision for decades to come.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.