New "Eyes" Resolution | Long Island Eye Doctor
It’s the New Year and everyone is setting their goals for 2014, many of the goals that people traditionally set are related to their health – whether it is eating healthier or exercising more. Something to think about is your eye health and visual comfort. Research estimates that 80-85% of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are accomplished through vision. What this means, is that you use your vision A LOT, more than just for “seeing”.
Anyone who is going to school, or works on a computer can tell you that being able to read comfortably for long periods of time is important. If you are having difficulty focusing your eyes, this can affect your ability to process the information you are reading efficiently, having to re-read the same sentence or having difficulty transcribing information from the computer to paper or vice versa can lead to frustration and end of the day headaches.
- Make sure that if you have bifocal glasses, you are looking through the “reading portion” otherwise you may be straining your eyes to see on the computer
- Exception : if you have a no-line bifocal, or if your computer is farther than 20 inches from your eyes
- If it is the screen that seems to be hurting your eyes, you can try adjusting the monitor brightness and also color saturation. Most people find that dimming the monitor and increasing the “blue-ness” of the monitor helps decrease eye strain.
- The 20-20 rule for taking breaks. For every 20 minutes of computer work, take a 20-second break, during this break take a deep breath and try to look out at the distance, preferably through a window, feel your eyes relax.
Light sensitivity: You may not feel like you have light sensitivity, but see if any of these scenarios sound familiar to you:
- You are going outside on a bright day and you feel like you have to squint or close one eye
- You are commuting to and from work and the sunlight is directly in your eyes, because of this you have difficulty seeing the lines on the road and cars in front of you.
- At night you notice “sunbursts” around street lamps and head lights.
What can you do?
- Sunglasses are best for inside the car and outdoors
- Transition lenses will change from clear indoors, to dark outdoors and vice versa
- Anti-reflective, Ultra Clear lenses will decrease effects of bright headlights, reflections off the road and street signs.
Dry/itchy eyes : Many people are walking around with dry eyes and eye allergies. Very often if the symptoms are mild enough, people will tend to ignore these symptoms, but there are many things you can do to help decrease these symptoms.
- Hydration : make sure you are drinking enough water, 8 cups a day is the daily recommendation, also try to avoid excessive caffeine intake, which has the negative effect, in that it can make your eyes feel drier
- Proper removal of eye makeup : My favorite is Sens’eyes by Make up forever
- If you have itchy eyes, try cool compresses, take a small hand towel, run it under cold water and place it over your closed eyelids for 10 minutes.
- It is best to avoid certain over the counter eye drops that “get the redness out” because overuse of these drops actually causes rebound hyperemia (= more redness)
And of course, do not forget to make an appointment for your yearly eye exam. You can do your job to protect your eyes, but leave it up to your doctor to give you the “a-ok” on your eye health!
Happy New Year to all, and we wish you all of the best this coming year!