It’s that time of year again – back to school! In addition to stocking up on school supplies, don’t forget to take care of your eyes. We collected the best advice of our doctors.
I recommend that all children who wear glasses should get lenses with the following technologies:
- Polycarbonate lenses
- Blue light filter
- Scratch resistant coating
- Anti-reflective (AR) coating
- Don’t forget to wear protective eyewear when playing sports.
- Give your eyes a break from screens. When using electronic devices like computers or phones, use the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break from staring at the screen every 20 minutes, and stare at something in the distance at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Consider daily contact lenses for ease of use. They are great for outdoor activities, sports, or special events. Wear them for your event, and then when you take them out, throw them out! No need to worry about storing or cleaning them for re-use.
- Always have an up-to-date pair of backup eyeglasses. If you develop an eye infection or an ulcer, you may be required to take a break from contacts to allow your eyes to heal.
- Practice good contact lens hygiene!
- Always wash your hands before inserting or removing lenses.
- Regularly clean and/or replace your contact lens case.
- Clean lenses with contact lens cleaning solution. Never use water or saliva!
- Don’t sleep in your contacts.
- Don’t over wear your contacts. If your lenses are weekly lenses, dispose of them after a week and get a new pair. When in doubt, err on the side of caution!
- If your eyes are red, irritated, or blurry, leave the contacts out and call your eye doctor.
- Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam. It’s important to have an evaluation of your vision, glasses, and contacts as well as a thorough eye health evaluation, with dilation or wide-field photography.
- Know your family eye health history! Gather family history of any eye diseases if able. Certain conditions can have genetic risks.
- Taking frequent breaks to readjust your eyes, or “blink exercises” cannot be stressed enough. Whether learning virtually or in various classroom sizes, glasses can ensure you are seeing and feeling your best. Even mild prescriptions for glasses can make a big difference when you are in class all day, and can often help to alleviate eye strain and headaches.
- Wearing sunglasses can minimize risk of developing eye disease later in life.
- Exercise, getting good sleep, eating a nutritious diet, and not smoking are four of the best investments you can make in your vision.