When it comes to our eyes, we tend to be more reactive, in that we pay attention once there is already a problem, rather than proactively aiming to have healthier eyes.
The technology is already out there: glasses. If we have eye issues, it’s most likely a decline or loss of eyesight. This can certainly be worrisome. Coming from someone who has fairly good eyesight, I definitely didn’t start thinking about my eye health until I worked a desk job and was stuck in front of a computer screen for 8 hours.
But what really gets people interested in eye health?
One day, you may notice a difference in your eyes, such as:
- Hazy or double vision
- Trouble seeing in low light conditions or discomfort with high-light conditions
- Red eyes for prolonged periods of time
- Eye pain or swelling (not from allergies)
- Floaters (black or grey specks, strings, or cobwebs caused by age-related changes)
- Frequent flashes of light
But no need to wait until you feel any of these. Taking care of your eyeballs is super important if you want to keep your vision until you’re old! And the great thing is, these easy steps apply to both children and adults – With online learning becoming the new normal, and children having easy access to technology, it’s great to instill these habits while they’re young!
4 Easy Steps to improve Eye Health
1. Eye Exercises
Blinking Breaks? Yes! I highly recommend them. It isn’t necessarily the computer’s fault your eyes hurt. Staring at anything for too long can cause eye strain. Imagine reading a book for hours where your eyes only move from Left to Right. Look away from what you’re working on every once in a while to bring for a few seconds (or minutes), then return to your task.
If you can, take breaks using the “20-20-20” rule. That means that for every 20 minutes you work, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds.
Another exercise you can try is facing forward and looking straight ahead. From there, look up without tilting or moving your head. Look down, being mindful not to move your head. Do this 10 times. Try the same thing but looking right and left. If you do this in the same spot every day, notice if you can see a bit further some days than others.
I personally love “palming“. Close your eyes and place your hands over your eyes. It’s called palming because your palms will be covering your eyes, with your fingers on your forehead. Don’t push down on your eyes; maintain light pressure, so light that you could blink. If you can sit here for a couple of minutes, that is ideal! Not only is this a nice break for your eyes, but it can also be a moment for you to breathe deeply and kill two birds with one stone!
There are so many more exercises you could try, it just takes a simple Google search or a search on YouTube to find more examples. If you have any trouble finding an exercise that works for you, reach out to me through the comments and I’ll help you find the right one for you!
2. Take the right Vitamins & Minerals
You can find all the vitamins and minerals you need in simple every day foods, but you may need to supplement with a capsule or powder for any nutrients you may be lacking.
Some beneficial foods for your eyes:
- All colorful veggies and fruits, such as carrots, strawberries, red peppers, spinach, sweet potato, citrus, and broccoli
- Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like high-quality salmon and flaxseeds. Keep in mind, some of these will be higher in Omega-6 and Omega-9, which we don’t need too much of in our diet. Usually, the lower the Omega-3 content, the cheaper the food/product.
You want to aim for Vitamins A, C, E, and Minerals like Zinc, which contain antioxidants that can help lower your chances of macular degeneration. Carotenoids are super important too!
There are two supplements I take that I’d like to highlight here. I was already a huge fan of Fish oil for the mental health and anti-inflammation benefits, but then I also added Optify Eye Health to my daily regimen for the Carotenoid benefits.
Carotenoids include lutein and zeaxanthin, and these are found in your retina. If you can’t get a sufficient amount from food, I highly recommend supplementing with something like Optify to make sure you’re giving your macula all the protection it needs by improving the pigment density in that part of your eye, and in order to properly absorb ultraviolet and blue light with minimal damage.
Optify is a premium eye health blend which includes lutein, zeaxanthin, and virtually everything you need for vision care and optimal eye health.
NutraChamps’ Omega 3 Fish Oil is a staple of daily nutrition sourced from wild caught fish in Peruvian waters. It’s one of the most beneficial supplements available for heart & brain health, joint comfort, eyes & more! DHA supports the brain, eyes and central nervous system.
3. Use eye protection
This is a pretty new one for me. Growing up having 20/20 vision, I didn’t do anything to care for my eyes. I never had to wear glasses or contact lenses, and I never felt the need to wear sunglasses.
Not only can I feel the discomfort in my eyes while sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods of time, but I also feel discomfort when outside, whether it’s sunny or not! Because I never wore sunglasses, I squinted a lot when I was outside playing sports, going for a walk, or just sitting on a patio. I get fatigued (physically and mentally) almost immediately if I’m not wearing sunglasses outdoors now.
To make matters worse, I wasn’t used to wearing any kind of eyewear, so getting used to glasses to protect me from my technology took a while! I purchased a pair of blue light glasses 2 years ago when I knew I’d be working a desk job full-time. I consulted this list, and purchased an affordable pair (without a prescription).
Shades are super helpful! The RIGHT pair can help you stay safe from cataracts, macular degeneration and pinuecula by blocing out the sun’s harmful UV rays. Look for a pair that provides 99-100% UV protection – you can get this in contacts as well!
Keep in mind: The amount of light coming from a computer has never been demonstrated to cause any eye disease. Studies show that the actual light from computer screens isn’t damaging our eyes, but instead, it could simply be that we are not taking enough breaks from our screens – we go from tablet to phone to laptop to TV throughout the day.
4. Take a break
This leads me to this point: take a break! We should be taking breaks throughout our day from all screens. I even try to avoid being around the microwave and oven, since they display the time in super bright LED lights.
I know it isn’t always possible to take a break when you want to. Maybe your boss is breathing down your neck and you need to get something done in a time crunch! In that case, here are some things to keep your eyes safe:
- Sit further away from the screen (about 25 inches or an arm’s length). You’ll want to adjust the screen so you’re looking slightly down, rather than up, to avoid straining your neck.
- Don’t be afraid to make use of eye drops if you have them around. Don’t work through the discomfort of dry eyes. It will make you strain even more.
- This could also mean taking a break from contact lenses. Many of us use them on the daily, to the point where our friends don’t even know that we need glasses! Switch them out for your glasses every once in a while to avoid touching your eyes.
It’s important for me to mention that if you are having issues with your eyes or are simply curious about how your eyes are operating, visit or consult an Eye Doctor! This can be a regular appointment in your calendar!
I understand this isn’t an option for many who are not covered by health insurance, but it could be worth the investment. An Eye Doctor will check up on some, if not all, of the following:
- Perform a vision test to determine farsightedness/nearsightedness, presbyopia (changes in vision due to age), astigmatism (blurred vision)
- Perform a test to determine coordination between both eyes
- Optic nerve and eye pressure tests (for glaucoma)
- Microscopic & external eye exam before and after dilation
If you can get into an Eye Doctor at least once a month to check up on your eye health and maybe get a new prescription for your glasses, you’re showing your eyes the love they’ve been desperately looking for!
Do you see an Eye specialist or Optometrist? How do you care for your eyes? If you haven’t thought of this before, what can you take from this post and start doing beginning today? Let me know below!
Leave a Comment:
Leave a Comment: