7 Ways to Save Your Eyesight

Keep your eyes happy and healthy with these easy tips.

Save Your Eyesight

We take our eyes for granted — all of us. We use them every day to see the people we love, do our jobs, and fully experience everything life has to offer. But do we take the time to keep them as healthy as we do other parts of our bodies? Probably not.

Give your peepers some much-needed attention with these ridiculously easy tips, from limiting screen time to wearing eye makeup correctly.

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1 Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam

We're not just talking about online eye exams or going into your eye appointment and seeing how many letters you can read off the Snellen eye chart. More advanced tests not only keep your eyes healthy but can see medical conditions you didn't. The tonometry, visual field, and slit lamp biomicroscopy tests, which are easily accessible at your ophthalmologist's office and places like LensCrafters, can signal the presence of serious medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and glaucoma.

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2 Limit Screen Time

If you stare at a computer or your phone all day, every day, give your poor peepers a break. There are a couple things you can do to prevent eye strain: First of all, relieve your eyes with the 20-20-20 rule: For every 20 minutes of screen time, look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. And if your computer is more than 20 years old, attach an anti-glare screen to the monitor, recommends Hansjoerg Kolder, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

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3 Wear UV-Blocking Sunglasses

Contacts only cover your cornea, but the rest of your eyes — especially the light-sensitive pupil — still need protection from powerful UV rays. Although some contacts do offer protection, it's always a good idea to invest in a good pair of sunglasses.

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4 Eat a Healthy Diet

It's true that your diet can make or break your eyesight. Elizabeth J. Johnson, PhD, a researcher at the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University, says eye-protecting nutrients like vitamins C and E (bell peppers and nuts), beta-carotene (carrots and sweet potatoes), omega-3s (salmon), and lutein and zeaxanthin (kale, collards, spinach) can help keep your eyes healthy.

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5 Clean Your Contacts Properly

No one wants an icky eye infection. To prevent them, take proper care of your lenses. It's so simple, and yet so many of us skip it. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), any soft contact lens wearer should remember these crucial tips:

  • Before putting in your contacts, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Remove your lenses before going swimming or getting in a hot tub.
  • Never rinse or store your contacts in water.
  • Never put your contacts in your mouth to wet them.
  • Always rinse your contacts with fresh solution.
  • Keep your contact lens case clean and replace it at least every three months.
  • Never re-use old solution in your lens case.
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6 Always Wear Eye Protection

2.5 million eye injuries occur in the Unites States every year, according to the AAO. To make sure you don't become part of that statistic, wear proper eye protection when playing sports, gardening, cleaning, and making home repairs.

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7 Be Smart About Eye Makeup

We all love mascara and eye shadow, but it's important to be aware that they can cause serious infections when used incorrectly. It's best to throw away eye makeup after three months to make sure you don't come in contact with harmful bacteria, according to the AAO. Also, never share eye makeup (be careful at Sephora!), and remove your eye makeup properly every night before going to sleep.

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