6 Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Tips for Healthy Eyes

By following the 6 steps in this article, you can keep your eyes healthy.

1. Eat Well

Good eye health starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. To get them, fill your plate with:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other nonmeat protein sources
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
  • Oysters and pork

A well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. That lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

2. Quit Smoking

It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration. If you’ve tried to kick the habit before only to start again, keep at it. The more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed. Ask your doctor for help.

3. Wear Sunglasses

The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Choose a pair that blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. Polarized lenses reduce glare while you drive.

If you wear contact lenses, some offer UV protection. It’s still a good idea to wear sunglasses for an extra layer.

4. Use Safety Eyewear

If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.

Sports like ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse can also lead to eye injury. Wear eye protection. Helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses will shield your eyes.

5. Look Away From the Computer Screen

Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause:

  • Eyestrain
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble focusing at a distance
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain

To protect your eyes:

  • Make sure your glasses or contacts prescription is up to date and good for looking at a computer screen.
  • If your eye strain won’t go away, talk to your doctor about computer glasses.
  • Move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. That lets you look slightly down at the screen.
  • Try to avoid glare from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
  • Choose a comfortable, supportive chair. Position it so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • If your eyes are dry, blink more.
  • Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break.

6. Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly

Everyone needs a regular eye exam, even young children. It helps protect your sight and lets you see your best.

Eye exams can also find diseases, like glaucoma, that have no symptoms. It’s important to spot them early on, when they’re easier to treat.

Depending on your eye health needs, you can see one of two types of doctors:

  • Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery.
  • Optometrists have had 4 years of specialized training after college. They provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases. They don’t do eye surgery.

A comprehensive eye exam might include:

  • Talking about your personal and family medical history
  • Vision tests to see if you’re nearsighted, farsighted, have an astigmatism (a curved cornea that blurs vision), or presbyopia (age-related vision changes)
  • Tests to see how well your eyes work together
  • Eye pressure and optic nerve tests to check for glaucoma
  • External and microscopic examination of your eyes before and after dilation

You might also need other tests.

Computer Eye Strain: 10 Tips For Relief

Computer Eye Strain Relief

In this article, you will read important tips on eye health. Particularly computer users should definitely take a look.

With so many of us using computers at work, computer eye strain has become a major job-related complaint. Studies show that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer workers.

These problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased numbers of work errors, to minor annoyances like eye twitching and red eyes.

Here are 10 easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS):

1. Get a comprehensive eye exam.

Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat computer vision problems. If you haven’t had an eye exam in over a year, schedule a visit with an eye doctor near you.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter.

During your exam, be sure to tell your eye doctor how often you use a computer at work and at home. Measure how far your eyes are from your screen when you sit at your computer, and bring this measurement to your exam so your eye doctor can test your eyes at that specific working distance.

2. Use proper lighting.

Eye strain often is caused by excessively bright light either from outdoor sunlight coming in through a window or from harsh interior lighting. When you use a computer, your ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that typically found in most offices.

Eliminate exterior light by closing drapes, shades or blinds. Reduce interior lighting by using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or use lower intensity bulbs and tubes. If possible, position your computer monitor or screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.

Many computer users find their eyes feel better if they can avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights. If possible, turn off the overhead fluorescent lights in your office and use floor lamps that provide indirect incandescent or halogen lighting instead.

Sometimes switching to “full spectrum” fluorescent lighting that more closely approximates the light spectrum emitted by sunlight can be more comforting for computer work than regular fluorescent tubes. But even full spectrum lighting can cause discomfort if it’s too bright. Try reducing the number of fluorescent tubes installed above your computer workspace if you are bothered by overhead lighting.

3. Minimize glare.

Glare on walls and finished surfaces, as well as reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer eye strain. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and, if possible, paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish.

Again, cover the windows. When outside light cannot be reduced, consider using a computer hood.

If you wear glasses, purchase lenses with anti-reflective (AR) coating. AR coating reduces glare by minimizing the amount of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of your eyeglass lenses.

4. Upgrade your display.

If you have not already done so, replace your old tube-style monitor (called a cathode ray tube or CRT) with a flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD), like those on laptop computers.

LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface. Old-fashioned CRT screens can cause a noticeable “flicker” of images, which is a major cause of computer eye strain. Even if this flicker is imperceptible, it still can contribute to eye strain and fatigue during computer work.

Complications due to flicker are even more likely if the refresh rate of the monitor is less than 75 hertz (Hz). If you must use a CRT at work, adjust the display settings to the highest possible refresh rate.

When choosing a new flat panel display, select a screen with the highest resolution possible. Resolution is related to the “dot pitch” of the display. Generally, displays with a lower dot pitch have sharper images. Choose a display with a dot pitch of .28 mm or smaller.

Flicker is not an issue with LCD screens, since the brightness of pixels on the display are controlled by a “backlight” that typically operates at 200 Hz.

If you see a lower refresh rate (e.g. 60 Hz) noted on an LCD screen, don’t worry — this refers to how often a new image is received from the video card, not how often the pixel brightness of the display is updated, and this function typically is not associated with eye strain.

Finally, choose a relatively large display. For a desktop computer, select a display that has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches.

5. Adjust your computer display settings.

Adjusting the display settings of your computer can help reduce eye strain and fatigue. Generally, these adjustments are beneficial:

Brightness. Adjust the brightness of the display so it’s approximately the same as the brightness of your surrounding workstation. As a test, look at the white background of this Web page. If it looks like a light source, it’s too bright. If it seems dull and gray, it may be too dark.
Text size and contrast. Adjust the text size and contrast for comfort, especially when reading or composing long documents. Usually, black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.
Color temperature. This is a technical term used to describe the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light that is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red. Reducing the color temperature of your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted by a color display for better long-term viewing comfort.
For computers running on a Microsoft Windows operating system, display settings can be adjusted in Control Panel. For an Apple computer, display settings are found in Systems Preferences (in the Applications folder in Finder).

In some cases, the color temperature of a desktop computer monitor is adjusted on the display itself.

6. Blink more often.

Blinking is very important when working at a computer; blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

When working at a computer, people blink less frequently — about one-third as often as they normally do — and many blinks performed during computer work are only partial lid closures, according to studies.

Tears coating the eye evaporate more rapidly during long non-blinking phases and this can cause dry eyes. Also, the air in many office environments is dry, which can increase how quickly your tears evaporate, placing you at greater risk for dry eye problems.

If you experience dry eye symptoms, ask your eye doctor about artificial tears for use during the day.

By the way, don’t confuse lubricating eye drops with the drops formulated to “get the red out.” The latter can indeed make your eyes look better — they contain ingredients that reduce the size of blood vessels on the surface of your eyes to “whiten” them. But they are not necessarily formulated to reduce dryness and irritation.

To reduce your risk of dry eyes during computer use, try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if falling asleep (very slowly). This will help rewet your eyes.

7. Exercise your eyes.

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes by constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times.

This exercise reduces the risk of your eyes’ focusing ability to “lock up” (a condition called accommodative spasm) after prolonged computer work.

Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.

8. Take frequent breaks.

To reduce your risk for computer vision syndrome and neck, back and shoulder pain, take frequent breaks during your computer work day.

Many workers take only two 15-minute breaks from their computer throughout their work day. According to a recent NIOSH study, discomfort and eye strain were significantly reduced when computer workers took four additional five-minute “mini-breaks” throughout their work day.

And these supplementary breaks did not reduce the workers’ productivity. Data entry speed was significantly faster as a result of the extra breaks, so work output was maintained even though the workers had 20 extra minutes of break time each day.

During your computer breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle fatigue.

Check your local bookstore or consult your fitness club for suggestions on developing a quick sequence of exercises you can perform during your breaks and after work to reduce tension in your arms, neck, shoulders and back.

9. Modify your workstation.

If you need to look back and forth between a printed page and your computer screen, this can cause eye strain. Place written pages on a copy stand adjacent to the monitor.

Light the copy stand properly. You may want to use a desk lamp, but make sure it doesn’t shine into your eyes or onto your computer screen.

Improper posture during computer work also contributes to computer vision syndrome. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height.

Purchase ergonomic furniture to enable you to position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck.

10. Consider computer eyewear.

For the greatest comfort at your computer, you might benefit from having your eye care professional modify your eyeglasses prescription to create customized computer glasses. This is especially true if you normally wear contact lenses, which may become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.

Computer glasses also are a good choice if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, because these lenses generally are not optimal for the distance to your computer screen.

LASIK Smile | ReLEx Smile Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK Smile

We will share 10 things you may not know about LASIK Smile. You absolutely must know these 10 things.

ReLex SMILE LASIK Eye Surgery
ReLex SMILE LASIK Eye Surgery

1) It’s not new.

Femtosecond lenticule extraction was first performed in 2008 and has been refined ever since. The SMILE laser eye surgery procedure was introduced to Australia in 2012 and since then has impressed more and more surgeons with its results and has become the procedure of choice for some surgeons.

2) It is a less invasive corneal laser eye surgery procedure.

It’s official. Compared to LASIK (which has a 20mm flap circumference) or ASLA (which has an 8mm diameter surface removal), SMILE is relatively non-invasive. SMILE is keyhole surgery, with just a 3mm corneal micro-tunnel through which the lenticule is extracted.

3) SMILE is kind to your corneal nerves

It causes less disturbance to the corneal nerves than LASIK. This has implications if you have dry eye or ocular surface disease.1, 2 Even if you have been turned down for LASIK in the past, you may be suitable for SMILE.

4) SMILE is just as safe and accurate as LASIK

A recent review of 102 peer-reviewed studies on SMILE, showed no significant difference in either safety or accuracy between SMILE and LASIK. In fact, other studies have shown that SMILE may even be more accurate than LASIK.1,3,4

5) SMILE if you’re nervous

The SMILE procedure is all done with one laser. Who cares? The patient! Laser eye surgery is a nerve-racking procedure for most people and having it over and done in one step can be a real bonus.

6) The SMILE procedure is quiet and odourless

The femtosecond laser used in SMILE (and in the creation of the flap in LASIK) is quiet. The excimer laser used in PRK and the second step of LASIK to remove (or ablate) tissue from your cornea, makes a loud clicking noise and causes ozone to be released from the eye’s surface as the molecular bonds are broken. The ozone is vacuumed away but some people may be unnerved by its characteristic smell of sparks.

7) SMILE is blade-free

Relex SMILE
Relex SMILE

Like modern LASIK, there is no cutting or burning of corneal tissue during the SMILE procedure. Most people find this very reassuring! Both lasers operate at a cool temperature and extremely high speed to break the molecular bonds in the cornea without causing any collateral damage. The heat builds up to about 40°C (the temperature of a warm bath).

8) Visual recovery – faster with LASIK than SMILE

Visual recovery takes a little longer after SMILE compared to LASIK – typically a few days, rather than the instant visual recovery of LASIK. This is due to the settling of the interface within the cornea after SMILE, where the two surfaces gel together once the lenticule is removed. At first there are wrinkles in the interface – a bit like what happens when you cover a book with Contact® for the first time – but these quickly settle down, allowing crisp vision to return within a few days. If you have the kind of job or lifestyle that requires minimal downtime in terms of crisp vision, LASIK may be a better option for you.

9) No SMILE yet for long-sighted patients

So far SMILE is only available to correct short-sightedness from about -2.50 up to about -10 (including any astigmatism you may have). Unlike LASIK, SMILE cannot currently treat long-sightedness or be used to get rid of reading glasses where uncorrected distance vision is good.

10) Play sports? SMILE may be a better choice

SMILE may have less detrimental effect on the integrity of the cornea5, making it a better choice for active sports people. A couple of days after SMILE surgery, you can resume all activities. That includes contact sports, swimming, heavy exercise, surfing, etc.