Our eyes are one of our most important assets, with most people saying their sight is the sense they would fear to lose the most. It makes sense, then, that we should take care of our eyes to keep them working at their best.
1. Preventing Sun Damage
One of the main causes of damage to our eyes is the sun. Extended exposure to harmful UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae and pterygia, all of which can cause a permanent loss of vision.
The way to combat this is to wear a pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection. To make sure a pair of sunglasses offer sufficient protection, check for the CE logo, which indicates they conform with rigid manufacturing requirements set by the European Economic Area.
2. Avoid Computer Damage
These days, most people own or have access to a computer. Unfortunately, too much time spent on a computer or using it improperly can damage the eyes. The light emitted from a computer is on a different spectrum to most other lights, and if viewing the screen in dark room the pupils may stay dilated letting in too much light and damaging the eye. A well lit room is recommended. Viewing the screen from too close a
distance can also be harmful, so a minimum viewing distance of 50cm is recommended. We also blink less frequently when using a computer, around 5 times less. This can cause dryness of the eyes and lead to further complications. Combat this by remembering to blink more frequently or by using lubricating eye drops. To stop eye strain, take regular breaks from the computer. If at work, employers are required to give you breaks from your monitor every so often, this can include doing other work away from the VDU; so if using the computer at work is becoming a problem, speak up.
3. Getting Your Eye’s Checked
To keep your eyes working their best, regular check ups are advised at least every two years.
An optician can check inside the eyes for any problems that may just be starting that would otherwise go unnoticed. They also check your sight to see if glasses are needed or a new prescription is required. If recommended glasses, even for reading or driving etc. then these should be worn. Not wearing glasses when they are needed can actually make your vision worse. Now days, glasses are a fashion statement in their own right, with thousands of available options to choose from so there’s really no excuse not to wear them.
4. Protecting Your Eyes
Physical damage is also a major reason for loss of sight and blindness. Eyes are very delicate organs and need to be protected from injury. This means wearing goggles when manual labour or tasks are being completed, such as DIY. A shard or small piece of material can land in the eye causing pain and sometimes permanent damage. When handling chemicals, such as household varieties used for cleaning, the eyes should also be protected as these can splash up into the eyes and damage them. The best thing to do in the first place is to protect them. However, if something does get into an eye and it can’t be removed or it seems to have caused damage, go to your local A + E department. If chemicals have got into the eyes, rinse immediately with clean, cold water and visit the hospital to be checked.
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