Vision is critical to your overall health. Yet, many people don't take great care of their eyes. Not on purpose - it's just that information on vision care is harder to come by. While your optometrist can answer most questions, there is only so much time during an eye exam to field them. In that spirit, here are 14 things eye care specialists wish you knew:
1. You Should Get Frequent Eye Exams
While 'frequency' can differ person to person, it's advisable to see your optometrist and get a comprehensive eye examination annually. Taking care of your eyes is not a 'luxury' or an inessential part of your health. The eyes can reveal deeper issues and seeing is vital to your quality of life.
2. Your Eyes Need Screen Breaks
WebMD calls it 'Computer Vision Syndrome.' But, it doesn't take an official name to know that staring at a screen all day is bad for your eyes. Your eyes will tell you. They feel strained, overworked, and heavy. If your job requires a computer (or you can't put your smartphone down) take breaks.
3. Blue Light Can Disrupt Sleep
Speaking of screen breaks, eye care specialists have warned that the blue light emitted from many electronics (like smartphones) can disrupt sleep. Consider putting your electronics to bed early and giving your eyes time to wind down for the day and prepare for sleep.
4. Sleep is Important
You've heard "get enough sleep" thousands of times. People keep saying it because it's true: sleep affects everything, including your vision. Eye fatigue, dry eye, eye strain, and other negative effects can beset your eyes when they're robbed of rest. Get those Zs, so you can see.
5. Contact Lens Directions are Important
Contacts are an effective way to improve your vision. But, complications can arise when directions aren't followed. Sleeping in lenses that aren't mean to be slept in, not cleaning cases, and using something other than solution to clean lenses can make life more difficult on your eyes.
6. You Should Always Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses are cool! But, you already knew that. What you might not know, but eye care specialists wish you did: sunglasses protect your eyes and should we worn whenever you're exposed to the sun. This includes all seasons and all situations. Keep those shades out and keep the sun's rays away.
7. Glasses Can Do It All
Eyeglass lenses have come a long way. If you find LASIK to be too expensive or too dangerous, know your options for glasses. Glasses technology is always improving and can correct vision impairment in a multitude of ways.
8. You Should Wear Protective Eyewear
If you work near chemicals, debris, construction, etc. you need to wear protective eyewear. Same thing applies to those who play any type of combat sport or engage in activities with flying objects. To cover all bases: if something could conceivably enter your eye unexpectedly, protect yourself.
9. Vision Care Can Be Affordable
Healthcare comes at a cost. But, vision care can be affordable. There are eye care centers that want to help patients save money because they are passionate about providing care to their communities. If you seek out the proper channels, you can afford the vision care you need.
10. You Can't Ignore Eye Injuries
If you get a small cut on your arm or scrape your knee, it will likely heal without too much hoopla. For eyes, the situation is much different. The smallest scratch or irritation can grow into a major health problem. Eyes are sensitive. If yours are hurt in any way, make an appointment with your doctor.
11. Vision Can Affect Learning
If you have a child struggling in school, it may not be a learning disability. Children who have trouble seeing, have trouble learning. That's why it's imperative that vision care starts at a young age. It's never too early to protect and improve the vision of children.
12. You Should Know About Your Eyes
Your eyes are at risk for all kinds of conditions and diseases. Know what they are. Know what to look for. Know when to seek treatment. Arming yourself with knowledge about your eyes is a great way to participate in maintaining and improving your vision.
13. Not All Vision Care Centers Are Equal
You can go many different places for eye care. But, you won't get the same experience or quality. Finding the right optometrist for you is hugely important in your vision care journey. Consider an optometrist with a proven record of top-quality care, customer service, and eyewear selection.
14. Vision Care is For Life
'Vision For Life' can be taken literally. Vision care is a lifelong process. As your eyes age, they require different types of attention and treatment. Choosing the right optometrist ensures that your eyes will be in good hands over the course of your life.