The team at Southern Eye Group of Alabama is dedicated to helping you maintain healthy, clear vision. Unfortunately, despite having a great eye doctor, there are elements of our daily lives that can hurt our eyes over time. Learn about several small, seemingly innocuous habits that could actually be having very detrimental effects on your vision and overall eye health.
Smartphones, computers, tablets, and TV’s—these screens have become daily fixtures in our lives, but we don’t always stop and take into consideration the effect they can have on our eye health. In order to protect your eyes, try to limit exposure to computer screens as much as possible, and when they can’t be avoided, it’s important to make sure you’re taking breaks every 20 minutes to give your eyes a rest. Try following the American Optometric Association’s suggested 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
It seems like a no-brainer to bring along a pair of sunglasses when it’s sunny out, but that’s not the only time you should be donning your shades outdoors. Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s harmful UV rays can break through and be reflected off surfaces such as sand, water, and snow, causing damage to the eye. That’s why we recommend you look for sunglasses that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and always keep a pair handy.
It may not seem like a big deal to stretch those one-day use contact lenses to two or three days to save some money, but you could be doing your eyes more harm than you’re doing good for your wallet. The longer you leave those daily contacts in, the higher your risk of eye infection grows. This is especially true if you wear your contacts while sleeping, or while in water such as a pool, lake, or even the shower. So play it safe and only use contact lenses for the length of time recommended.
It’s no surprise that lack of sleep can negatively impact your health in a variety of ways, but did you know it can also affect your vision? Common issues stemming from lack of sleep include blurred vision, eye discomfort, eye twitches, and dry eyes. It’s important to try to regularly get a full 7—8 hours of sleep nightly. And don’t forget to put away your tablet or smartphone, as studies have shown the blue light emitted from electronic screens can make falling asleep more difficult.
Just like it’s important to receive an annual checkup from your regular doctor, it’s equally important to take time to receive an annual eye exam from your eye doctor. Your eyes are a pretty good indicator of your overall health, so checking in with your eye doctor can not only help catch eye issues early on, but it can also detect signs of other problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Breaking a habit can be extremely difficult, but heeding the impact of these habits that damage eye health and making choices to counteract them is a worthwhile endeavor. If you’re ready to ensure your eye health is at its peak, we encourage you to schedule an eye exam with one of our Mobile, Fairhope, and Foley eye doctors. To make an appointment with one of our Southern Eye Group of Alabama professionals, contact us today. We look forward to helping you achieve all your eye care goals!