There is a lot of truth to the adage: “The Eyes Are the Windows to The Soul.” That’s because our eyes reveal so much about us. They convey when we’re tired, sad, frightened, angry, happy and they can even help determine other potential systemic health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Since March is “National Save Your Vision Month,” now is a good time to ensure your eyes are in tip-top shape and that you take all the proper steps to maintain healthy eye care.
Many of us spend countless hours with our eyes glued to smartphones, computers and other electronic devices, so it should come as no surprise that optometrists and ophthalmologists rank digital eye strain (DES) as one of the most common ailments among their patients.
According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) American Eye-Q survey (2016), 58 percent of adults have experienced digital eye strain or vision problems–such as eye irritation, dryness, fatigue and blurred vision–as a direct result of overexposure to electronic devices.
In addition, more than 40 million Americans will likely be at risk for reduced vision, cataracts, glaucoma and other age-related macular disease. However, many of these eye problems are preventable or curable with proper evaluation and treatment.
Even if you’re not experiencing any vision problems, don’t take your eyes for granted. It’s important to have them examined by a licensed professional.
Most eye care specialists recommend a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years.
Before making an appointment, it’s always a good idea to check the license or registration status of the healthcare provider through the Department of Consumer Affairs’ License Search at https://search.dca.ca.gov/. You can also view this information online via the board websites: Medical Board of California at www.mbc.ca.gov and the California State Board of Optometry at www.optometry.ca.gov.
In the meantime, here are a few tips you should “focus” on to help protect your eyes.
- WHEN USING ELECTRONIC DEVICES–Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
- ZOOM IN–Maintain a comfortable working distance from your digital device(s) by using the zoom feature to see small print and details, rather than bringing the device closer to your eyes.
- ARE YOU ROLLING YOUR EYES?–It’s OK. Rolling those eyeballs around and from side to side or even up and down a few times a day helps lubricate and strengthen your eyes.
- HERE COMES THE SUN—Spring and summer are right around the corner. So, protect your eyes by investing in a good pair of sunglasses. Look for a pair that blocks 99 percent to 100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Not only will your eyes appreciate the shade, you’ll probably look pretty cool sporting them too.