Last week, I had the opportunity to take part in a webinar with Desiree Carrillo-Owen, OD for World Sight Day as part of a partnered campaign with The Motherhood. I was stunned and overwhelmed with the amount of information Dr. Owen provided. Honestly, I was prepared to be bored during the hour-long session, but I found myself jotting down note after note of interesting information about how to protect our eyes and prevent common problems. I wanted to share a little about what I learned with you all, because our eyes are so important. Did you know that approximately 80% of what our children learn comes through their eyes?! Or that the eye is the strongest muscle in your body and it can process 36,000 bits of information every hour!
Let’s start with an easy one:
Wear UV-protective sunglasses always, because UV radiation is present year-round.
How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain:
- 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Clean your screen often
- Reduce exterior and overhead lighting to avoid glare
- Keep your distance from the screen (20-24 inches)
- Position your computer 10-15 degrees below eye level
- Purchase computer eyewear – talk to your doctor
How to Prevent Injuries During Activities:
- Wear safety goggles (90% of home eye injuries are preventable if protective eyewear is worn!)
- For sports like basketball, racquetball, baseball and hockey, look for goggles with polycarbonate lenses or even facemasks with shields.
- The most important thing to remember is that your regular glasses do not provide enough protection for these activities!
Take Care of Yourself & Your Eyes
- Eat right – dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids can preserve eye health
- Maintain a healthy weight – reduce your risk of diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma
- Keep your blood pressure under control – hypertension is linked to eye disease
- Exercise – people with active lifestyles are 70% less like to develop AMD
- Quit smoking – smoking can cause AMD, cataracts and optic nerve damage
- Wash your hands – avoid risk of infection; wash before you touch!
For more information about vision health and diseases, check out The Vision Council.