May is Healthy Vision Month when we celebrate the tremendous role vision plays in how we experience our lives. Unfortunately, eye and vision care was impacted by the pandemic in very specific ways. As everyone continues to catch up on annual doctor visits, people are also looking at their everyday routines to seek out ways to directly benefit how they feel and look to support a better mental and physical outlook. In short: Self-care is something most of us are investing time, money, and other resources in as a way to lead ourselves into the life we want.
Here we offer some advice on how to take care of your eyes, to keep them healthy and your vision working. Because how we see the world allows us to fully appreciate and engage with it. And, post-pandemic, most of us are prioritizing bucket list travel, new work routines, and lifestyle activities. This means that our vision needs to be at peak performance.
About Our Vision
Our brain, and a pair of sensory organs, our eyes, create sight. Our eyes collect data that the brain interprets as an image. The power to view the world around us, sight is considered the most important of our five senses.
Healthy Vision Month is a Great Time Make that Annual Eye Appointment
When was the last time you had an eye exam? Adding an annual eye exam is a very important part of your health routine. In fact, eye doctors often can detect other health issues. It might be time to call your eye doctor and schedule a comprehensive exam to make sure your eyes and vision are working properly.
If you wear glasses or contacts, you may be considering a laser vision correction procedure such as LASIK or SMILE. Laser vision correction is both safe and effective for those who are good candidates. There are also alternatives to laser vision correction with ICLs. But how do you know if you are a good candidate? Your eye doctor should be able to give you some insight, but only a thorough evaluation by a surgeon can tell you for sure. Some of the basic issues a LASIK surgeon considers before recommending a procedure include:
Your age: Laser vision correction is only approved for adults with a stable vision prescription. That means your eyes have stopped developing and your prescription hasn’t changed in more than a year.
You are in good health: It is important to share your complete medical history, including any chronic conditions and medication you are taking. The reason is certain health problems including diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and medications can impact how a person heals from a procedure.
Your eyes are in good shape: A big focus of a LASIK consultation is a complete evaluation of the overall health of your eyes, the condition of your corneas (the surface of the eye), and precise measurement of your focusing capability.
For a more in-depth look at what a LASIK consultation covers, check out our article https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/your-lasik-eye-surgery-consultation-what-to-expect/. Your annual eye exam is a terrific time to start the conversation around your interest in laser vision correction. Here are a few tips for talking to your eye doctor https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/talking-to-your-eye-doctor-about-lasik/.
Tips for Everyday Eye and Vision Care
Your eyes are working for you all of your waking hours and making their care should be a priority. For Healthy Vision Month, we offer some simple things you can do to take care of your eyes healthy long-term.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in nutrients that boost eye health, including vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and beta-carotene.
- Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes when you’re in front of a screen, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
- Blink regularly to keep your eyes hydrated.
- If dry eye symptoms are bothersome, try using lubricating drops or some of these other home remedies.
- Prioritize quality sleep habits to get the restorative rest your brain and body – including your eyes – need.
- Read, work, and play in well-lit areas.
- Put aside the devices and spend some time outdoors (wear sun protection).
- Speaking of sun protection, invest in quality UV-protecting sunglasses.
Healthy Vision Month is an opportunity to renew the focus on the health and wellness of your vision and its benefits for body, mind, and mood. After all, what we see in the world around us inspires us. Taking small steps can have a big impact on daily quality of life. We hope these tips for how to take care of your eyes inspire you to invest some time and pay attention to your eyes and vision so they can help you see the best in the experience of life now and in the future.