Eye injuries can range from minor annoyances to major complications. However, no matter the severity of an eye injury, you should always take measures to help prevent them, as an injury to the eyes is always worth taking seriously.
The most obvious habit to practice, of course, is to wear safety glasses or goggles in all situations where airborne particles, chemicals, or projectiles may be present. In keeping with the spirit of Eye Injury Prevention Month, we're highlighting 5 additional habits you can pick up today that will prevent injuries and promote healthy eyesight:
Be mindful of UV rays
This might seem like a no-brainer, but being aware of how exposure to the sun affects your eyes is paramount to maintaining healthy eyes.
At best, long exposure to the sun can leave your eyes dry and irritated, but at its worst the sun can cause serious vision problems that can ultimately lead to blindness.
If you are planning to be in the sun for long periods of time, don’t forget your sunglasses, long-brimmed hats, or UV protective glasses/contacts. This rule still applies even as the weather starts to change! Even as it starts to get cooler, protecting your eyes is just as important, so make sure your sunglasses aren’t only a summer fashion choice, but a fall and winter one as well.
Among the many serious negative effects smoking has on your body are the effects it has on your eyes.
Not only does smoking contribute to conditions like Dry Eye Syndrome that can leave your eyes permanently irritated, but smoking can also cause cataracts and damage your optic nerves, both of which can lead to blindness.
If you do smoke, quitting should be your first step towards the daily prevention of eye injuries.
Foods that are high in Vitamins C,A and E are an important part of bolstering the health and strength of your eyes.
Eating foods that are high in these vitamins is a small, but important thing you can do daily that will have a big impact on the overall health of your eyes.
These vitamins work to prevent deterioration in eyesight, and can have you seeing further for longer periods of time.
Foods that can bolster your eyesight include:
Don’t rub your eyes
If all the bacteria that made its way onto our hands were visible we’d all be reaching for the hand sanitizer!
Our hands are constantly being exposed to dirt, debris, and bacteria from the world around us, and most of it can be harmful to our eyes. Keeping your hands away from your eyes can prevent your eyes from getting irritated by dirt, or worse, infected by a bacteria.
Another safety tip that pairs closely with this is that you should wash your hands as frequently as possible! This is especially important if you have contacts that require you to put in and take our daily. Washing your hands should be step one in the process of taking your contacts out.
Monitor your screen time
Lastly, a big part of protecting your eyes against injury on a daily basis is being aware of how your computer/phone screen affects your eyes.
If your work requires the continuous use of a computer, give your eyes a scheduled break by using the 20-20-20 Rule.
Prolonged screen time can cause a condition called Digital Eye Strain that can leave your eyes dry and irritated. Always be cognizant of how long you’ve been sitting in front of a computer, and give your eyes frequent breaks from your screen in order to prevent irritation and keep them healthy.
And of course, if you have any questions or concerns about any of the items on this list, talk to your eye doctor today!