Working on computers all day, intermittently checking our phones, watching television to relax, playing video games for fun – if you spend the vast majority of each day in front of a screen, your eyes will be feeling the strain by bedtime.
Here’s how to look after your eyes and help avoid all sorts of health issues such as eyesight problems, headaches and tiredness.
How to take care of your eyes
1. Have a healthy diet
There’s a lot of truth in the old saying that ‘you are what you eat’, but if you assume a healthy diet just helps you avoid health issues related to obesity and high cholesterol, then think again – eating plenty of dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale as well as stocking up on fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your peepers in tip top condition.
Again, you might assume that exercise just helps stave off obesity and keep your heart and lungs in good shape, but regular exercise also helps to lower your risk of health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems.
As a rough guide, for general good health try to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss or hit specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more.
Give your eyes a rest
Taking a break from your screens and giving your eyes a regular break is vital to maintain healthy eyes. If you’re using screens a lot, try to rest your eyes using the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
How to protect your eyes
Regularly wash your hands to help prevent eye infections, especially if you wear contact lenses.
Protect your eyes form dust and dirt when doing manual work – and even general house cleaning – by wearing protective eyewear.
Lessen the impact of harmful UV rays by always wearing sunglasses outdoors, even if there’s a little cloud cover.
Keep your glasses in good condition to help make sure you don’t have to strain your eyes to use them and that they sit on your face correctly.
How often should you get an eye test?
You should get your eyes tested at least every two years, even if you’re not aware of any problems with your eyes and you’re not suffering from headaches. Think of your eye test as a regular health check, which can detect underlying health problems as well as changes in your vision, and consider getting them tested more regularly as you get older or if you have any medical problems that could affect your sight.