July is Health Vision Month!

It’s always important to take care of your eyes, to protect them and take preventive measures to preserve your vision. Eye health is often something people don’t think about as much, especially in comparison to things like physical and mental health. The truth is, however, that eye health affects our everyday life as well, even for simple tasks.

There are some basic things every person can do to help protect their eyes now, and long-term.

Get an Annual Eye Exam.
Comprehensive eye exams with your optometrist are one of the most important, preventive things you can do to help preserve your vision. It’s also the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease, or find out if you might need some type of corrective lenses.

Wear Protective Eyewear.
If you are into sports, active hobbies, or even like working on building or other types of projects at home, you would benefit from protecting your eyes with impact-resistant eyewear while performing any of these activities. The goal is to help keep your eyes healthy, free of potentially damaging dust, dirt or other debris, and ultimately, for your eyes to remain injury-free.

Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection.
While you may love being out in the sun, you still have to be careful to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, especially over long-term exposure. Bright sunlight, for example, can increase the risk of cataracts, growths on the eye, and even some types of eye cancer. UV rays reflected off of sand and water can also cause eye irritation and even sunburn! When outside in the sun for extended timeframes, sunglasses are a simple and cost-effective way to protect your eyes now and over time.

Rest Your Eyes from Digital Devices.
It’s hard to put down those smart phones or take a break from your laptop when you’re under a deadline, but anytime you can, it’s important to give your eyes time to rest away from those screens. Resting your eyes can help prevent and even treat digital eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, tearing or watery eyes, headaches, eye discomfort and fatigue, focusing difficulties, and sensitivity to bright lights.

When you are staring at a screen, try to make a conscious effort to blink more often. This will help keep your eyes lubricated.

You can also adjust your workspace, such as changing the height and position of your chair, your desk, or your monitor.

The Bottom Line.
Your eyes allow you to see, but they also allow you to connect with your surroundings, so take care of them in any and every way you can. Protecting your eyes from everyday factors is vital, whether it’s sun or screens, or anything in between. Taking care of your weight, and making healthy lifestyle choices can also affect your eye health. Talk to your primary care provider, or an optometrist, to learn more about general eye health and measures you can take to extend the life of your vision.

Source: National Eye Institute