How to Save Your Eyesight
We live in the digital age. In a lot of ways, it’s pretty great. We can reach out to friends and arrange plans in seconds (without having to rely on phone trees and callbacks). We can keep track of world events without leaving our chairs. Best of all we can work for anyone in the world from anywhere in the world. Of course, all of this interconnectivity does come at a price and, unfortunately, that price is often your vision.
Doctors and scientists have warned about the dangers screen time poses for eyes since the first computers were introduced. That white blinking cursor on a dark screen could strain our eyes, they said. Over time, the screen and the graphics got better. You would think that the risk of damage would wane, but instead, it has increased. Why? Because the refresh rates on the screens we’re so fond of now is much faster than it was on those first computers and it is harder than ever for our eyes to keep up with all of those refreshes.
Obviously, nobody here is going to advocate the tossing out of computers with the trash in favor of adopting a completely “off the grid” and analog lifestyle. It simply isn’t possible to completely avoid screens and computers anymore.
Instead, what we’re going to do is teach you a few things that you can do to reduce the risk to your vision.
Physically Protect Your Eyes
The most common way to do this is to wear sunglasses whenever you are outside. Sunglasses prevent harmful UV rays from damaging your corneas. It doesn’t stop with sunglasses, though. It is also imperative that you protect your eyes in other situations as well. Always wear protective goggles when swimming, doing construction or yard work, when dealing with chemicals, etc.
However, despite best intentions, our eyes can sustain damage or manifest pre-existing problems that laid dormant for years. If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, it may be necessary for you to undergo minimally invasive and painless laser eye surgery.
Eat a Healthy Diet
We’ve all heard that eating carrots is good for your sight. This is because carrots are rich in vitamins C and E, which are important for your eyes’ health. Eating a vision-friendly diet doesn’t stop there, though. It’s also important to get those Omega-3s. In particular you want to look for foods that contain DHA and EPA. Zinc is another important mineral to consume if you want your eyes to be healthy. Talk to your doctor about which foods are best for keeping your eyes as healthy as possible…and which foods to avoid because they can actually damage your sight.
It’s good to look up from the computer screen every once in a while…but don’t simply choose to look at the television instead! Too much screen time, whether it is from computers, tablets, televisions, phones, etc–can cause problems with your vision, headaches, fatigue and a host of other problems. This is why it’s good to put away those screens regularly! Get up and walk around! Go outside for a little while. Close your eyes and listen to some music. Do some chores. Read a book. There are lots of things that you can do that won’t force you to concentrate on a screen.
Speaking of books, if you are going to make the leap from paper based books to digital based books, the best eReader you can buy is one that uses e-ink. For example, regular Kindles and Kindle Paperwhites use e-ink technology which recreates the effect of looking at words typed on paper. While it is true that, in terms of eye-strain there is virtually no scientific evidence proving that e-ink is better for your vision than the LED screens most tablets and phones use today, it is also true that e-ink is glare free. This makes it the better choice for reading outdoors. LED screens would just reflect the sun’s glare right into your eyes! Ouch!
Checkups are Important
So many people wait until they get headaches or notice changes in their vision to see an eye doctor. Don’t make this mistake! Going in for a thorough eye exam every year (or at most, two years) is imperative for your eye health. Regular checkups can help detect problems while they are still relatively small and simple to fix. If you wait until you notice problems, the damage might be too extensive to fix properly. You can get an eye exam for less than a hundred dollars. Isn’t it better to spend the small amount now than to potentially have to pay for extensive procedures later?
Your eyesight is important. You need to do everything you can to protect it! The tips in this article are a good place to start. What are some of the other things you can try?