KEEP YOUR EYES HEALTHY PART II BY DR. BENJAMIN CLINGAN, OD
Last post we focused on a holistic approach to eye health and the importance of a yearly exam. Now, we will focus on specific ways to make your healthier.
- 20/20/20 Rule – We have mentioned this in earlier posts, but it bears repeating. Human beings were not designed to stare at a computer for 8 hours a day. Unfortunately, that is life in 2018. So, we recommend that for every 20 minutes you are on the computer to look away at 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.
- Blinking Exercises – In addition to the 20/20/20 Rule, you can add these exercises during your 20 second breaks. First gently close your eyes (pause, pause), then open them, close them again (pause, pause), squeeze them tight, and finally open them again. Repeat a couple of times as you feel is necessary, and then go back to the computer. P.S. Just remember that when you hold a conversation with a real person, you blink about 20x/minute. When you stare at your computer, that blink rate can go down to 5x/minute.
- Sunglasses – Always wear glasses with UV protection when outdoors. UV radiation causes cataracts, skin cancer, growths on your eye (pinguecula vs. pterygium – you can Google them) and your eyelids. Some contacts do have UV protection, but they only protect what they cover. So, if the average contact is 14 mm in diameter; that leaves most of your eye and all of your eyelids unprotected. Always wear glasses with UV protection. Also, hats and sunscreen don’t hurt either.
- Safety First – Eye injuries can be prevented. Wear the appropriate safety gear. Obviously, we think of racquetball, paintball, and welding as hobbies/jobs that NEED protection. However, there are many opportunities for us to inadvertently damage our eyes. So, next time you are working on the car, mowing the yard, or doing anything with the possibility of projectiles please wear some eye protection. You don’t want an emergency visit to see me, and I hope the glasses work so you don’t have to see me.