How to protect your eyes, and your vision
While optometrists are the experts, there’s a lot that you can do to take care of your eyes and vision. Richmond Health Centre optometrist Jane Chong shares her tips.
1. Avoid overworking your eyes. Digital eye strain is a common problem for children and adults. If you must spend a lot of time on your computer, phone, or tablet, give your eyes frequent breaks by gazing at a point in the far distance and allowing them to relax.
2. Use lubricant eye drops when your eyes feel dry. Artificial tears for dry eyes are available over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets. Putting a drop in each eye when they feel dry, gritty or irritated can give temporary relief.
3. Eat a healthy diet. A nutritious diet benefits every part of your body, including your eyes! Follow the Australian nutrition guidelines and include foods that are particularly healthy for the eyes and vision. These include:
- Sources of omega-3 (e.g. oily fish)
- Red, orange or yellow-coloured fruit and vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables.
4. Protect your eyes from injury. If your work or hobbies could lead to an eye injury, make sure you wear protective eye gear. Construction work, welding, and even gardening all carry a risk of eye injury from ricocheting particles (or branches in the case of gardening!). Physical trauma to the eye can cause blindness so it’s important to play it safe with eye protection.
5. Take care of your glasses and contact lenses. Due to COVID-19, there may be significant delays with replacing your glasses or contact lenses, so please look after them. If you wear glasses, keep them in a safe place when you’re not wearing them. If you wear contact lenses, maintain meticulous hygiene including hand washing and cleaning your contacts. As always, stick to the recommended contact lens replacement schedule, whether this is daily, fortnightly, monthly or longer.
6. Know when to get medical attention. If you experience any of the below symptoms, and can’t see your optometrist, please seek urgent medical attention from your local eye hospital or emergency department:
- Sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, in one area of your vision or your entire field of view
- Trauma to the eye causing pain, redness, and/or a deterioration of vision
- Severe, unexplained pain or redness of the eye
- (Contact lens wearers) Your eye becomes painful or red, or your vision becomes blurry after you put your lenses in – and the problem doesn’t resolve after you take the lens out.