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12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.  

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel. 

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up!  

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking? 

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit. 

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health. 

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule 

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds. 

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too.  

9. Be careful with eye make-up 

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear 

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.

It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly. 

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like: 

  • Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia
  • Eye coordination 
  • Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma

It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. James Evans.  

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Village Eye Centre offers comprehensive eye exams in North Edmonton, Alberta, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.

9 Tips on How to Protect Your Eyes in the Sun

Bright advice from your North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor

The sun can damage more than just your skin, and your eyes are particularly at risk. Ultraviolet rays can lead to a variety of health problems, such as eye and eyelid cancer and photokeratitis, which is like a sunburn on your cornea. Overexposure to UV rays can also raise your chances of cataracts in the future. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to protect your vision. Our North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor at Village Eye Centre has prepared the following list:

1. UV Protection

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your retina and the lasting health of your eyes. That’s why it is essential to wear sunglasses that provide protection against 100% of UV light and hazardous blue light rays. Don’t be tempted into buying cheap low quality sunglasses, or your vision can pay a steep price. Take care to purchase your sunglasses from an optical store you can trust, and not from a trending department store at the local mall.

2. Introducing the E-SPF®3 index

Our North Edmonton, Alberta, eye doctor recommends purchasing sunglasses with lenses that have E-SPF®3, a gauge to measure UV reflections from the front and back surfaces of the lens. Ultimate protection for your eyes can be found in lenses with E-SPF® 50+, the highest level of the index.

3. Darker is not better

Ultra-dark sunglasses lenses prompt your pupil to dilate wider, which can allow a larger amount of UV rays and dangerous blue light to enter. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, very dark tinted sunglasses can actually be worse for your eyes over time.

4. Vision is for life – start with sun safety for kids

The effects of UV exposure are cumulative, and studies show that approximately 85% of UV damage actually occurs during childhood – before 18 ½ years old. This statistic is primarily to blame on the fact that most kids don’t wear sunglasses with adequate UV protection. When you purchase your kids’ wardrobe for sunny days, be sure to stop by your nearby optical store to choose a stylish, quality pair of sunglasses.

5. Sunglasses contact lenses put an end to squinting

Sunglasses are not always the most convenient eyewear for protecting your vision while you’re working up a sweat outdoors. They can slip down your nose, fog up, or accumulate water drops from the ocean spray. Other than squinting, how else can you limit the effects of the sun’s bright rays? Sunglasses contact lenses are a new, breakthrough solution. These dynamic contacts have Transitions technology that darken in response to UV rays, just like photochromic glasses lenses do.

6. Put on a hat

A wide brimmed hat is a fantastic way to keep your eyes in the shade, protected from the sun. Even if you always wear sunglasses when you head outdoors, you are leaving your eye area vulnerable to sun rays that can get in through gaps along the sides of your frames. A hat with a brim that’s at least 3 inches wide will eliminate those gaps.

7. Watch the clock

Be aware of when the sun is shines strongest and stay indoors during those hours. You may be surprised to learn that your exposure to the highest amounts of UV radiation is actually in the early morning hours and throughout the mid-afternoon – and not at noon, like most people believe.

8. The design of your frames matters

While most discussions about UV protection revolve around the type of lenses that are in your sunglasses, our North Edmonton, Alberta, optometrist points out that the style of your frames is also significant. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the most coverage for your eyes and sensitive skin that surrounds them.

9. Keep chemicals out of your eyes

Sunscreen is a staple for outdoor safety. However, if you get sunscreen in your eyes it can cause many painful symptoms, including redness and severe stinging. Take care not to smear large globs of sunscreen close to your eyes. Thicker sunscreen creams, as opposed to runny lotions that may drip into your eyes, are recommended for the facial area.

We sell a wide range of stylish premium sunglasses for adults and children – with full UV protection – at our North Edmonton, Alberta, optical store. Stop by anytime to take a look!

At Village Eye Centre, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-410-5920 or book an appointment online to see one of our North Edmonton eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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