It is a terrifying question to most and a reality to some. What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and could not see anymore? Although some cases of lost sight cannot be prevented, most can by taking preventative measures and caring for you’re your eyes properly. Being a driver that wears glasses, I know first-hand the importance of maintaining proper eye health. After all, without good vision or corrective lenses to enhance vision, a driver can no longer operate his/her truck legally. I did have vision problems. As a matter of fact,
I had perfect vision until I was in my late twenties. At my last employer I was driving all morning then coming into the office for the remainder of the day to do payroll and billing in the office in the afternoon. From being on the computer too much and not maintaining good eye health habits while on the computer, I developed a recently found condition called “college myopia”, which is a optometric term coined to identify young adults suffering from eye strain caused being on the computer for extended periods of time without taking the proper measures to de-stress the eyes. In essence, the eyes forget how to relax and remain in a near-focused state
permanently, causing far-sighted vision to become blurred.
Just recently having my eye exam and having my prescription changed again reminded me of the important role a good optometrist plays in keeping me at my driving best! I have two pairs of glasses, shaded for daytime driving to protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays (polarized), and a clear pair for night driving that have an added anti-glare coating to help with oncoming headlight glare. Here are a few simple steps everyone
can take to ensure their eyes are at their very best:
- Maintain your annual check-up with a licensed optometrist. At least once a year, be sure to schedule a regular exam even if you feel you are already at your best and your vision hasn’t changed. These regular check-ups also allow for adjustment of current glasses, the ability to change contact lens preference, and can help spot the early signs of other diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetes.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables! Yes, the old wise tale of eating your carrots holds true here. Focus on foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and omega-3.
- Protect your eyes with shaded protection. Be sure to get UV blocking lenses and it also helps to have wrap-around frames to block rays from the sides as well. Not only do glasses help with harmful UV rays, but they can also offer protection when working with heavy tools or machinery, should something shoot out towards your eyes. Hats can also be worn to further block the harmful light from reaching your eyes.
- When working with computers or watching TV, make use of anti-glare screens. Remember to also have proper lighting when using these devices. Make time to look away and relax the eyes every so often to avoid continuous eyestrain.
- Be sure to have clean hands when touching around your eyes. Being an open mucous membrane, it can be a point where infection can directly enter your body. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before dealing with anything around your eyes.
- Eye exercises can help build strength and relieve stress on the eyes. What kind of exercises you may ask? Something as simple as blinking can help to lubricate the eye, closing them for 3-5 minutes can help them to relax and relieve eyestrain, and looking at something green can help to relax them as well.
With all the daily strain your eyes go through driving around, or even watching TV or playing on the computer if you’re not driving, they deserve a break! They contain some of the strongest muscles in your body and are some of the most important as well. It is hard to imagine anything happening to one’s eyesight, but it happens everyday. Do not take for granted the gift of sight! Be sure to take care of it and help to insure that it not only stays with you for the sake of your career, but also to enjoy the many beautiful sights in the world there are to see!