Have you ever thought about eye health as something you can personally manage? While we often take ownership of things like weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure by changing our diet and activity level, eye health often gets left to chance. Going to your annual eye exam once a year is a step in the right direction, but there are things you can do at home to help manage your personal eye care and prevent problems.
Protect Your Eyes
Environmental contaminants can damage your eyesight. When working on projects or in the yard, sometimes you may need to wear protective glasses. If you are woodworking, doing projects with strong chemicals, or even mowing the yard, you are at risk for particles or chemicals getting your eye. It may be inconvenient and slightly uncomfortable to wear safety glasses, but it’s worth preventing damage that is possibly irreversible.
Smoking can also damage your eyesight. According to All About Vision, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis, and other eye problems.
Block Blue Light
Though the studies on blue light are still in their infancy, there is evidence to suggest that this particular type of light can be damaging to eyes. The University of Toledo did a preliminary study which seemed to indicate that blue light is a problem. Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, “Blue light appears to damage retinal cells. It is still unclear how much blue light and for how long it’s necessary to damage these sight-seeing cells. We do know the damage is irreversible.”
Some of the ways you can block blue light are by wearing special sunglasses and by using blue light filters on your phones and computers. The Reticare Eye Protector for iPhone is a product that both protects the screen of your phone as well as filters out the potentially toxic light that emanates from your screen. Blue-blocking sunglasses, such as the NoIR line, filter out harmful light while keeping visual contrast crisp and clear.
Improve Your Lighting
Good lighting can prevent eye strain and improve your ability to read and differentiate between small details and colors when doing project work. Whether you are inside your home or at the office, improving your lighting is a way of managing your eye care.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to improve lighting is to make use of natural light. Open blinds, and position desks and chairs in a way that casts outside light on your work space. Brighten up your surrounding area by choosing a lighter paint color that will help reflect natural light. The only thing to guard against is glare. Surfaces that are too bright or too white can also hurt your vision.
When natural light isn’t easy to access, you can add lamps to your space. But not all lamps are created equal. Task lamps like the 24 Watt Better Vision Floor Lamp emit light that is more natural. They reduce glare and increase contrast. You also want to consider how adjustable your lamp it. Can it be positioned over projects and work areas, or are you limited by a rigid frame?
Protecting your eyes, blocking blue light, and improving your lighting are all ways to manage your eye care and preserve your vision between visits to your eye doctor. Don’t feel that you have to leave your visual health up to chance!
To explore different options for lighting, check out ILA’s Lamps and Lighting page here!