Beyond having to wear glasses or contacts, vision problems can seriously affect your life over time. In fact, vision loss can lower your quality of life and raise your risk of depression, diabetes and other health issues, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Practicing simple, daily habits can help you improve your eye health and reduce your risk of problems in the future.
Want more health tips? Check out Omega-3 Rich Foods That Offer Many Benefits for Heart, Hearing and Overall Health, Why Your Glasses Get Foggy and How to Stop It and The Right Color of Sunglasses for Eye Health.
Exposing your eyes to ultraviolet rays may cause damage over time. Wearing sunglasses can block harmful UV light, lowering your risk of eye diseases like cataracts, sunburn, eye cancer and growths around the eye, per the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Polarized glasses with smoke or gray lenses may offer the best protection against the sun’s rays and reduce glare.
Take screen breaks
Prolonged screen time can cause dry eyes, pain in the neck and shoulders, blurred vision, headaches and digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome. The American Optometric Association recommends using the 20-20-20 rule to prevent computer vision syndrome. Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Take book breaks, too
Screen time isn’t the only way to strain your eyes. When you read a book, you probably hold it up close for long periods, too. Both activities can lead to nearsightedness, or myopia, which means far-away objects are blurry while up-close things are clear. Just like you should use the 20-20-20 rule to take screen breaks, you should also use this rule for book breaks. If you find yourself engrossed in what you’re reading or doing on the computer, set an alarm so you don’t miss your 20-minute break.