Your eyes are among your most important organs. Your eyes not only let you see shapes and depth and millions of colors, but also help manage the light signals that keep your body’s internal clock running properly.

Your eyes are also among the most vulnerable parts of your body, and they need your protection to maintain and improve your eyesight.

While you may be aware that you should always wear protective glasses during activities such as woodworking and landscaping, there are other ways to protect your eyes and keep them healthy every day.

Protecting your eyes from the sun

Like all sources of energy, the sun provides critical life support, but can also cause serious harm. Ultraviolet (or UV) radiation carries much of the danger posed by sunlight, burning your skin and eyes and causing long-term damage when left unprotected.

The sun’s UV rays are a clear and present danger when you’re at the beach on a sunny day, but are equally harmful on overcast days and on snow, which reflects the light into your eyes.

To protect your eyes from the sun and UV damage:

  • Wear quality sunglasses with UV protection outdoors
  • Wear a hat or cap with a wide brim, and take breaks in the shade
  • Never stare into the sun, especially with binoculars or during a solar eclipse

Protecting against eye strain

Sometimes we pose the greatest danger to our eyes. Overworked eyes are prone to short term and long-term eye and vision problems. To help protect your eyesight and keep healthy eyes, minimize strain by:

Taking breaks during computer work. Try to take a 15-minute break away from your computer every two hours, and rest your eyes every twenty minutes by looking around the room.

Giving yourself good lighting. Your eyes need sufficient light to read and write, work on the computer or watch TV. In low light or dark, your eyes have to work harder than usual, causing strain.

Blinking often to refresh and moisten your eyes.

Getting the appropriate eyewear. If you wear glasses or contacts, always make sure your correction is still right for your eyes and for the type of work you do.

Maintaining good air quality. Keep dry eyes at bay and improve your eyesight by using a humidifier, maintaining comfortable temperatures and avoiding smoke and other pollutants.

Be smart! Visit your eye doctor periodically and take care of your eyes to keep them healthy.

Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.
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