Your eyes may see what’s right in front of you, but ultimately your eyes don’t make the decisions! You wear the pants in that relationship, and unless you’re thinking with your eyes in mind, you may not be making choices with your eyes’ best interests at heart.
People tend to take their health for granted; their good health anyway… But good health requires a commitment to active care and awareness. When it comes to our eyes and our vision, people tend to be a bit more passive than perhaps they should be, especially considering how important our eyes are to our quality of life!
So, with an eye towards responsible eye care, here are the 5 Most Common Eye Care Mistakes people make all the time.
Far and away the BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOU EYES is get an annual eye exam! A comprehensive, routine eye exam tests everything from your visual acuity and focusing ability, to the health and well-being of your eyes, and is critical in the early detection and treatment of any number of common vision conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and others.
The national health professionals at the CDC agree, “…about 11 million Americans over age 12 need vision correction—but it’s just one of the reasons to get your eyes examined. Regular eye exams are also an important part of finding eye diseases early and preserving your vision.”
When it comes to eye pain, double vision, blurriness, tired eyes, or any of the myriad other symptoms of concern regarding our eyes, walking it off is just NOT a viable option.
Overuse or a long night at the office may mean a rough spell with your eyes, but longer-term issues, when the blurriness doesn’t clear up by the next day, or the pain seems to linger should not be ignored. Relatively minor symptoms could be indicative of much more serious conditions. The best way to preserve the long-term health of your eyes is to catch any problems early, and the best way to do that is to not ignore any concerns that come up.
It’s not so much CAN you wear your contact lenses while you’re sleeping, but rather SHOULD you…? It’s true there are FDA-approved contact lenses for overnight wear; otherwise known as extended-wear contact lenses, but researchers have observed the incidence of eye infections was considerably greater among people who slept while wearing contact lenses.
The FDA maintains that extended wear contact lenses be worn for no more than seven days. Despite that recommendation, many, if not most eye care practitioners have determined that any overnight wearing of contact lenses was just too risky, and they’ve been encouraging patients to always remove their contacts before going to sleep, even if the lenses were FDA-approved for extended wear.
If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times: UV rays are bad for your eyes. Luckily, there’s a simple solution – SUNGLASSES! In short, sunglasses, but especially polarized sunglasses, can block up to 100% of UV light. It doesn’t get easier than that! And don’t forget the little ones. No matter what your age, your eyes can still suffer damage from UV light so make sure both you and your kids are wearing shades.
Screen time seems like it’s almost the only time nowadays with kids between 8- and 12 years old averaging almost 5 hours of screen time per day, and adults still average at least 2 hours per day assuming they’re not working on a computer or smartphone all day long. That’s a lot of exposure to digital blue light. Blue light is emitted from all handheld electronic devices, desktop and laptop computers, and televisions. It is the shortest and highest energy wavelength of visible light and can cause significant damage to many parts of the eye. Long story short, cut back on screen time to protect your vision.
Don’t ignore your eyes! While these may be five of the most common mistakes people make regarding eye health, there are many more, and the best way to avoid them and care for your eyes is to see and talk to your eye doctor regularly.