While it may seem as though your eyes basically take care of themselves, the truth is that daily eye care is needed to maintain healthy vision. Failing to practice good eye care can lead to serious vision problems down the road. Fortunately, it’s fairly simple to give your eyes the care they need and deserve.

Clean Your Eyes Daily

Most people who wash their faces each day give a quick wipe around their eyes and think that is all they need to do. Actually, for optimum eye health, it is important to gently wipe your eyelids, eyelashes, and brow areas to remove sweat, dust, and other debris particles that may cause damage to your vision. Many eye experts recommend using a damp washcloth with a drop of baby shampoo to create a gentle lather for washing these areas. Rinse with cool water to finish the daily routine. This process should only take a few more minutes, but will make a difference in keeping your face clean.

Get Regular Eye Checkups

Every year or two, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmology specialist. If you don’t already have one that you see, ask your regular eye doctor for a referral. An ophthalmologist can screen your eyes for several possible conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and interior eye chamber tumors. The sooner these are diagnosed, the more effective treatment they can be given. Planning your eye exams ahead of time will help ensure that you won’t forget. Establishing a connection with a doctor early will help you keep track of your health. The best avenue of prevention is planning ahead.

Rest Your Eyes

Most of our jobs involves looking a computer screens for hours at a time every day. This can cause eye strain and make both our jobs and lives more difficult. Just as you should get up and stretch your legs if you’ve been sitting too long, you should rest your eyes by looking elsewhere. A rule of thumb to follow is the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of looking at a screen, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Even this simple rule can help avoid pain in your eyes and keep you working (or playing) productively.

Avoid Chemical Exposure

Chemicals come in many forms, from workplace fumes to residential fireplaces as well as many cosmetics, hair grooming products, and certain types of cooking. Avoid areas where known eye irritants are being used. If you must be present, limit your time in the area and keep your back to the direction from which the irritants are projected. Even pumping gas into your vehicle exposes you to a small amount of fuel fumes, which can be hazardous to your eyes, so face away from the pump when filling the tank. Herbal eye care can help you keep your eyes healthy as well.

Wear Protective Eye Gear

Seasonal pollen and outdoor foliage can irritate your eyes as can frequent or extended sun exposure. Wear sunglasses or shades to protect your eyes from these irritants. Whether you are directly in sunlight or driving your car, keep your eyes covered at all times when outdoors. SPF 45 offers the best protection. Wearing a brimmed hat to help shade your eyes from sunlight glare or floating air particles can provide additional help, for example, while burning weeds or leaves outside.

Don’t take your vision for granted. Protect it now while you can still see well to prevent serious issues developing later that may hinder your vision. Following the above eye care tips is a great start to keeping your eyes healthy for the long haul. Taking care of the little things, ahead of time, will go a long way towards long term health.

About the author

Lizzie Weakley

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