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Don’t Be Too Cool To Wear Shades: Tips For Choosing The Right Sunglasses

80% of our memories are determined by what we see.

Your eyes are very sensitive instruments that require care similar to the way you would protect and nourish your skin. Like your skin, your eyes are negatively affected by too much exposure to the sun and toxins. In addition, both your eyes and skin require vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy and happy.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important step when it comes to maintaining healthy eye sight. In fact, sunglasses are just as important for eye protection as sunscreen is for the skin. While the danger of over-exposure to sunlight on the skin receives a lot of attention, the risks of eye damage and other resulting vision problems are often overlooked.

Fortunately, the right sunglasses are all you need to protect your eyes from UV-related damage. A good pair does not necessarily mean the most expensive glasses in the store. Instead, pay close attention to the level of UV protection that your prospective lenses provide.

When you shop for sunglasses, make sure they have a label indicating 99-100% UV Protection or UV 400. If there isn’t a label like this, it’s best to keep shopping. Sunglasses that are identified as “cosmetic” should definitely be avoided.

In addition, be aware that the tint or color of the lens has nothing to do with the level of UV protection. Dark lenses may look safer but this isn’t always the case. Glasses with light lenses designed for the best UV protection will keep your eyes healthy while ones with dark lenses and low UV protection won’t help to protect your eyes.

The shape of your sunglasses is also essential for the best eye protection. Choose a pair with a shape that covers your entire eye and doesn’t allow UV light to get in through the sides.

Even if your contact lenses offer UV protection, you should still wear sunglasses since the a contact lens don’t protect the entire surface of the eye. Putting on your sunglasses before you go out will eventually become automatic if you work on developing this habit and your eyes will thank you for it.

Your eyes actually risk exposure to dangerous UV rays whenever you’re outdoors, even on overcast days. While clouds provide shade, they don’t serve as a barrier to UV light. For additional protection, you might want to consider wearing a hat, especially one with a broad brim. Why not look stylish and protect your eyes at the same time?

Nowadays, most people have become diligent about covering their children in sunscreen before going to the park or beach. The same care should be extended to your little one’s eyes by making sure they wear sunglasses at the beach or whenever they will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

This resource is only a guide and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on a website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a doctor, dial 911 or go directly to a hospital Emergency Room (ER).

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

All About Vision

American Optometric Association

Glaucoma Research Foundation

WebMD

Virtual Medical Centre

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8 Tips Your Eyes Will Thank You For

Eyes use about 65% of your brainpower. That’s more than any other part of the body!

Our eyes are amazing! They’re such an important part of our daily function and do so much for us every day. We often unknowingly place our eyes under unnecessary stress and leave them susceptible to injury. We can’t always avoid putting stress on our eyes or dodge every incident that may hurt them. Fortunately, there are a few adjustments that may help protect and nourish this complex part of our body. Below are some simple changes that can benefit the health of your eyes.

20/20/20 Rule. Between work and home, we’re increasing the hours we spend in front of television, computer and phone screens. Our eyes are forced to constantly adjust to different colors and sizes of objects between all the texts and funny cat videos we view on the daily. When looking at a screen, you actually blink less often, which can leave your eyes feeling tired, dry, and irritated.

After 20 minutes of staring at a screen (about the time it takes to stream your favorite episode on Netflix) take a break from the screen for at least 20 seconds and look at something that is about 20 feet away. Letting your eyes focus on something that is at a more comfortable distance than the phone in your hand or the TV screen in front of you allows your eyes to relax and reset. There are even apps and software programs to help remind you when it’s time to put the screen down and give your eyes a vacation.

Bliiiiiink. All of those i’s aren’t a typo, it’s a way to remind you to take a long blink for your eyes. Close your eyes, keep them closed for a few seconds and then open them slowly. Blinking is a part of your natural body function and it keeps your eyes healthy. Consciously thinking about blinking will help your eyelids do their job and give your eyes a well-needed break, even if it’s just for a few seconds. There’s a lot of content lately about how good mindfulness is for our overall well-being, so consider mindful blinking a great way to help your eyes too.

Adjust Your Screens. Ways to reduce the strain on your eyes while working on the computer include having anti-glare screens put in and ensuring that images are clear and don’t flicker, increasing the font size on your screen, making sure the screen is at eye level, and using a larger monitor. In some cases, people need different glasses for computer work, so ask your eye care professional if you notice any difficulty or discomfort when looking at the computer screen.

See the Right Light. Lighting should be adjusted so that it is neither too bright nor too dim. If lighting is too bright a glare can appear on you television, computer, and phone screens and this glare can cause your eyes to strain. If lighting is too dim, reading printed text may also cause eyestrain or dry eyes. A soft desk light on the side can help reduce stress on the eyes. In addition, there are several awesome phone and computer applications that adapt the color of your screen to ease eyestrain depending on the time of day and natural light in the given area.

D-eye-Y Protection. Do-It-Yourself projects at home can lead to a great sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, they can also cause eye injuries if you aren’t properly equipped. Before mowing your lawn, inspect it for any debris. You might even want to wear goggles or sunglasses to be on the safe side. Eye protection should be worn when sawing, sanding, and drilling. Fine particles can cause irritation, while large particles may cause serious damage. If something ever does become caught in your eye, don’t rub your eye because this can cause further harm. If you can’t wash it out, seek professional assistance. When handling paints and chemicals, make sure you read the instructions beforehand to know if you need eye protection. If these products come in contact with your eyes you should flush your eyes out right away for about 15 minutes and consult a medical professional if irritation persists.

Give Your Eyes a Sporting Chance. Make having the right eye protection when participating in sports part of your equipment check. There are specific goggles for skiing and swimming. Any racquet sport where a small ball is used also poses a particular danger of eye injury. If you’ve had any eye problems in the past, especially problems that required surgery, you should consult an eye professional before participating in any contact sport.

Another Reason to Quit Smoking. Smoke often irritates eyes and prolonged smoking can lead to more serious problems including chronic dry eyes. Smoking also significantly raises the risk of developing cataracts. These cataracts can eventually lead to blindness. Quitting smoking reduces your risk of several health problems including those that cause vision loss.

Watch What You Eat. While taking the appropriate steps to protect your eyes, you might also want to consider making changes towards a healthier diet. Studies show that Vitamins C, Vitamin A, folic acid, selenium and zinc help slow down age-related eye conditions. Because they’re packed with nutrients, eating fruits and vegetables can be especially beneficial to your eyes as well as to you overall health. Carrots are great, because they are high in Beta Carotene, a type of Vitamin that is good for your eyes. Did you know that blueberries are one of the healthiest foods for your eyes? Add them to smoothies or your breakfast batter so you can have your (pan)cake and eat it, too.

As people become more and more health-conscious, it’s important to remember the importance of your eyes and consider how they help you function throughout the day. By taking simple steps to protect your eyes and provide them with essential nutrients, you can help improve your chances of having good eyesight far into your later years.

This resource is only a guide and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on a website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a doctor, or go directly to a hospital Emergency Room (ER).

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health Hub

All About Vision

American Optometric Association

Virtual Medical Centre

Eye Doctor Guide

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Best Ways To Prevent Dry Eyes This Winter

Wintertime is all about brisk afternoons, chilly evenings, bundling up for snowy excursions or relaxing with hot cocoa by the fireplace.  Your eyes need to be in tip-top shape to soak it in – the twinkling holiday lights, delicate snowflakes and scenic views.

But cold winter temperatures, dry air, biting wind and even indoor heat can make your eyes dry, red, and irritated, and can put a damper on wintertime enjoyment. So how can you prevent symptoms of dry eyes this winter?

We’ve got helpful tips to keep your eyes healthy, cheery and bright.

Understanding dry eyes

Simply put, it’s all about the quality and quantity of your tears. Your eyelids protect, clean and lubricate your eyeballs every time you blink. Your natural tears are actually a combination of fatty oils, mucus and water.  These amazing liquids work together to keep your eyes in excellent working condition.

When your eyes get dry, that’s an indication that one of the three essential layers is off balance and either your tears are evaporating too quickly, or your eyes aren’t producing enough tears. Since environmental factors especially during the winter months can zap the air of moisture, dry eyes are more common during cold weather.

Close your eyes more often

It may sound too good to be true, but closing your eyes more often for longer periods of time can prevent symptoms of dry eyes. This is helpful if you’re in high altitudes or dry air. Closing your eyes for a few minutes throughout the day can keep them moist and prevent tears from evaporating too quickly. Just don’t blame us if your boss thinks you’re taking a nap.

Use Clear Eyes® eye drops

Even if your eyes feel fine, using artificial tears like Preservative Free Clear Eyes Pure Relief® for Dry Eyes can help them stay that way. If your eyes are well lubricated, you can stay ahead of dry eye symptoms. Lubricating drops, also known as artificial tears, augment your natural tears for daily moisturizing comfort, and Clear Eyes Pure Relief® for Dry Eyes has the added benefit of being Preservative Free, ideal for already sensitive eyes.

Bump up moisture in the air

Even when you’re indoors, the lack of humidity outside can still make your eyes extremely dry. You can add moisture by using a humidifier. Humidifiers add tiny droplets of water into the air that can make a big difference to your sensitive eyes.  In higher altitudes like skiing destinations in the mountains, it’s not uncommon to find a humidifier in every room!

Water consumption & fatty acids

You should already know staying hydrated by drinking lots of water helps your eyes produce tears, but did you know your diet helps too? According to the American Optometric Association, essential fatty acids like omega-3s are beneficial for retinal function and overall eye health. These acids can be found in a variety of cooked fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, scallops and snapper and there are a variety of supplement options available for these key nutrients.

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