DO YOU NEED COMPUTER GLASSES?

When you work at a computer for any length of time, it's common to experience eye strain, blurred vision, red eyes and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). This is because the visual demands of computer work are unlike those associated with most other activities.

If you're under age 40, eye strain or blurred vision during computer work may be due to an inability of your eyes to remain accurately focused on your screen or because your eyes have trouble changing focus from your keyboard to your screen and back again for prolonged periods. These focusing (accommodation) problems often are associated with CVS.

If you're over age 40, the problem may be due to the onset of presbyopia — the normal age-related loss of near focusing ability. This, too, can cause CVS symptoms.

What can you do? For starters, have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out vision problems and update your eyeglasses prescription. Studies show that even small inaccuracies in your prescription lenses can contribute to computer vision problems.*

If your glasses are up-to-date (or you don't need prescription eyewear for most tasks) and you continue to experience eye discomfort during computer work, consider purchasing customized computer glasses. These special-purpose glasses are prescribed specifically to reduce eye strain and give you the most comfortable vision possible at your computer.

Why Computer Glasses?

Computer glasses differ from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses in a number of ways to optimize your eyesight when viewing your computer screen.


Workspace is one of the newest lenses designed to optimize vision and comfort during digital device use. According to manufacturer Shamir, the lens filters at least 20 percent of blue light, but unlike other blue light filters, looks clear instead of tinted. It's available in both prescription and non-prescription.

Computer screens usually are positioned 20 to 26 inches from the user's eyes. This is considered the intermediate zone of vision — closer than driving ("distance") vision, but farther away than reading ("near") vision.

Children and young adults who need prescription eyeglasses usually are prescribed single vision lenses. These lenses correct the wearer's nearsightednessfarsightedness and/or astigmatism, and the shape of the lens inside the eye automatically adjusts to provide the extra magnifying power required for computer vision and near vision.

When a person's close-up vision becomes less clear due to presbyopia after age 40, this age-related loss of natural focusing power affects reading and seeing a smartphone or computer vision clearly and comfortably. Bifocals can provide clear distance and near vision, but intermediate vision (needed for computer use and seeing your smartphone) often remains a problem. And progressive lenses or trifocals, though they offer some help for intermediate vision, often don't have a large enough intermediate zone for comfortable computer work.

Without computer eyeglasses, many computer users often end up with blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches — the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Worse still, many people try to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses. Both of these actions can result in a sore neck, sore shoulders and a sore back.

Though they sometimes are called "computer reading glasses," it's best to call eyewear designed specifically for computer use "computer glasses" or "computer eyeglasses" to distinguish them from conventional reading glasses.

Generally, computer glasses have about 60 percent the magnifying power of reading glasses. But the optimal magnification depends on how far you prefer to sit from your computer screen and how close you like to hold your digital devices.

Computer glasses also should accurately correct any astigmatism you might have, and precise measurements should be taken to insure the optical center of each lens is directly in front of your pupils when you are using your preferred working distance.

For these reasons, computer glasses should be customized to your individual needs. Using weaker, non-prescription reading glasses for computer work and seeing your digital devices typically won't provide the accurate vision correction you need for sustained clarity and comfort.

Computer glasses put the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen right where you need it for a clear, wide field of view without the need for excessive focusing effort or unhealthful postures. University research also shows custom  computer eyewear can significantly increase worker productivity.

Lens Designs For Computer Eyewear

Many special purpose lens designs work well for computer glasses. Because these lenses are prescribed specifically for computer use, they are not suitable for driving or general purpose wear.


Computer vision syndrome causes eye fatigue, which can make you feel tired in general.

The simplest computer glasses have single vision lenses with a modified lens power prescribed to give the most comfortable vision at the user's computer screen. This lens power relaxes the amount of accommodation required to keep objects in focus at the distance of the computer screen and provides the largest field of view.

Single vision computer glasses reduce the risk of eye strain, blurred vision and unnatural posture that can cause neck and back pain, and can be used comfortably by young and old computer users alike.

Another popular lens design for computer glasses is the occupational progressive lens — a no-line multifocal that corrects near, intermediate, and, up to a point, distance vision.

Occupational progressive lenses have a larger intermediate zone than regular progressive lenses for more comfortable vision at the computer. But this leaves less lens area for distance vision, so these lenses are not recommended for driving or other significant distance vision tasks.

Other lenses used for computer glasses include occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses. These lined multifocal lenses have larger zones for intermediate and near vision than regular bifocals and trifocals, and the position of the intermediate and near zones can be customized for your particular computer vision needs.

Your optometrist or opthalmologist can help you decide which lens design will best suit your needs for computer glasses.

Lens Coatings And Tints

For maximum viewing comfort, the lenses of your computer glasses should include anti-reflective coating. Sometimes called anti-glare treatment, anti-reflective (AR) coating eliminates reflections of light from the front and back surfaces of your lenses that can cause eye strain.

Also, computer glasses with photochromic lenses can shield your eyes from potentially harmful high-energy visible blue light from your computer screen and digital devices — and automatically darken in sunlight outdoors, too.

Your eye doctor may also recommend adding a light tint to computer glasses to reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting and to enhance contrast.

For more details about anti-reflective coating and tints for your computer glasses, consult your eye care professional.

Where To Buy Computer Glasses

Resist the temptation to buy over-the-counter reading glasses for use as computer glasses.

Because an accurate eyeglasses prescription is essential if you want to get the full benefits from computer glasses, it's best to purchase this eyewear from a knowledgeable eye care professional.

Prior to scheduling your eye exam, measure how far you like to sit from your computer. Measure from the bridge of your nose to the surface of your computer screen.

Bring this measurement with you to your exam so your eye doctor can use it to help determine the optimum lens power for your computer glasses.

Also, read these computer ergonomics tips to help you arrange your computer workstation for optimum comfort. AAV

 

WHAT IS GLAUCOMA.

Overview

Open-angle glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital to good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.

The most common form of glaucoma has no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.

Vision loss due to glaucoma can't be recovered. So it's important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. If you have the condition, you'll generally need treatment for the rest of your life.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of your condition. For example:

Open-angle glaucoma

  • Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Even with treatment, about 15 percent of people with glaucoma become blind in at least one eye within 20 years.

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate medical care

Promptly go to an emergency room or an eye doctor's (ophthalmologist's) office if you experience some of the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, such as severe headache, eye pain and blurred vision.

Schedule eye exams

Open-angle glaucoma gives few warning signs until permanent damage has already occurred. Regular eye exams are the key to detecting glaucoma early enough to successfully slow or prevent vision loss.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends glaucoma screening:

  • Every four years beginning at age 40 if you don't have any glaucoma risk factors
  • Every two years if you're at high risk or over 65

Causes

Glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve. As this nerve gradually deteriorates, blind spots develop in your visual field. For reasons that doctors don't fully understand, this nerve damage is usually related to increased pressure in the eye.

Elevated eye pressure is due to a buildup of a fluid (aqueous humor) that flows throughout your eye. This fluid normally drains into the front of the eye (anterior chamber) through tissue (trabecular meshwork) at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. When fluid is overproduced or the drainage system doesn't work properly, the fluid can't flow out at its normal rate and pressure builds up.

Glaucoma tends to run in families. In some people, scientists have identified genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage.

The types of glaucoma include the following:

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease. The drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris remains open, but the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. This causes pressure in the eye to gradually increase. This pressure damages the optic nerve. It happens so slowly that you may lose vision before you're even aware of a problem.

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma, also called closed-angle glaucoma, occurs when the iris bulges forward to narrow or block the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris. As a result, fluid can't circulate through the eye and pressure increases. Some people have narrow drainage angles, putting them at increased risk of angle-closure glaucoma.

Angle-closure glaucoma may occur suddenly (acute angle-closure glaucoma) or gradually (chronic angle-closure glaucoma). Acute angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. It can be triggered by sudden dilation of your pupils.

Normal-tension glaucoma

In normal-tension glaucoma, your optic nerve becomes damaged even though your eye pressure is within the normal range. No one knows the exact reason for this. You may have a sensitive optic nerve, or you may have less blood being supplied to your optic nerve. This limited blood flow could be caused by atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in the arteries — or other conditions that impair circulation.

Glaucoma in children

It's possible for infants and children to have glaucoma. It may be present from birth or developed in the first few years of life. The optic nerve damage may be caused by drainage blockages or an underlying medical condition.

Pigmentary glaucoma

In pigmentary glaucoma, pigment granules from your iris build up in the drainage channels, slowing or blocking fluid exiting your eye. Activities such as jogging sometimes stir up the pigment granules, depositing them on the trabecular meshwork and causing intermittent pressure elevations.

Risk factors

Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of these risk factors:

  • Having high internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure)
  • Being over age 60
  • Being black or Hispanic
  • Having a family history of the condition
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia
  • Having certain eye conditions, such as nearsightedness
  • Having had an eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
  • Early estrogen deficiency, such as can occur after removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) before age 43
  • Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eyedrops, for a long time

Prevention

You may not be able to prevent glaucoma. But these self-care steps can help you detect it early, limit vision loss or slow its progress.

  • Get regular eye care. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect glaucoma in its early stages before irreversible damage occurs. As a general rule, have comprehensive eye exams every four years beginning at age 40 and every two years from age 65. You may need more frequent screening if you're at high risk of glaucoma. Ask your doctor to recommend the right screening schedule for you.
  • Know your family's eye health history. Glaucoma tends to run in families. If you're at increased risk, you may need more frequent screening.
  • Exercise safely. Regular, moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure. Talk with your doctor about an appropriate exercise program.
  • Take prescribed eyedrops regularly. Glaucoma eyedrops can significantly reduce the risk that high eye pressure will progress to glaucoma. To be effective, eyedrops prescribed by your doctor need to be used regularly even if you have no symptoms.
  • Wear eye protection. Serious eye injuries can lead to glaucoma. Wear eye protection when using power tools or playing high-speed racket sports on enclosed courts.

WHY ARE SUNGLASSES SO IMPORTANT IN SAN DIEGO

Why are Sunglasses Important?

Most of us know what happens when we forget to use sunscreen in the sun - we get sunburned! And you've probably heard that you should also protect your eyes from the sun. But how is the sun harmful to your eyes, and what can you do to prevent damage to your vision? 

What is UV Light? 

Ultraviolet (UV) light is electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to the human eye. Its name is derived from the spectrum of electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than those that humans identify as the color violet. The sun emits ultraviolet radiation in the UVA, UVB, and UVC bands. The Earth's ozone layer blocks 97-99% of this UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere, and UVC rays rarely reach the Earth. UV rays are also emitted through other sources, such as welding machines, indoor tanning beds, and lasers.

Effects on the Eyes

UV light is absorbed by molecules which are present in the eye cells and tissues. If too much UV light is absorbed, eye structures such as the cornea, the lens and the retina can be damaged.

High intensities of UVB light are hazardous to the eyes. Exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to ultraviolet rays can cause Photokeratitis or ultraviolet keratitis, a painful condition of the eye. This is similar to a sunburn of the cornea and conjunctiva, and is not usually noticed until several hours after exposure. Photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. 

Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to serious diseases of the eye, including damage to the retina, pterygium (a growth that invades the corner of the eyes) and pinguecula (a yellowish, slightly raised lesion that forms on the surface tissue of the white part of your eye.) The longer the eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

Protecting your Vision

Just as sunscreen keeps the sun's UV rays from harming your skin, UV protection for eyeglasses block those same rays from damaging your eyes. 

Ordinary, untreated eyeglasses give some protection against UV light. Plastic lenses provide a better amount of UV coverage than glass. Some plastic lens materials, such as polycarbonate, inherently block most UV light, and photochromic lenses provide full UV protection. A UV coating can be applied to most eyeglass lenses without changing the appearance of the lenses, which will give better protection. But even a treatment that completely blocks UV light will not protect the eye from light that arrives around the lens. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight, wrap-around frames can provide additional protection from harmful solar radiation.

Some contact lenses have UV protection, but you should still wear sunglasses because UV rays may affect the eye tissue that is not covered by the contact lenses.

Of course, many people don't wear prescription glasses, and look to sunglasses to protect our eyes. In addition, those who do wear prescription eyeglasses may wish to choose sunglasses for different activities. 

And don't forget UV eye protection for children and teenagers, who typically spend more time in the sun than adults. 

Sources: American Optometry Association; AS/NZS 1067:2003: 'Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles'

OVER WEAR YOUR CONTACTS?

Contact Lens Overwear Syndrome (also known as contact lens-induced acute red eye, CLARE, or tight lens syndrome) is the result of patients over-extending their contact lens wearing time or by wearing their contact lenses in a closed eye environment (during sleep.) It is most common in people that wear non-gas permeable contact lenses, but can occur with any lens type.

When contact lenses are worn for an extended time they can significantly reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the eye. The amount of reduction is based on a combination of how much the lens can move, how thick it is, how oxygen permeable it is, and how they are worn.

Some symptoms of lens overwear are ocular pain and redness, tearing, decreased vision, and photophobia (light sensitivity). If the contact lens is still being worn or cannot be removed by the individual during an exam, it will show that the lens is “stuck” and unable to rotate normally. Often people will find it difficult to realize that they have worn their contact lenses too long since the corneal abrasions are masked by the decreased sensitivity brought on by oxygen deprivation.

Additionally, poor hygiene can cause lens overwear. Sleeping in daily wear only lenses or wearing lenses all night can lead to complications that are often ignored until there is an infection or signs of hypoxia (decreased oxygen). Some people wear their lenses for too long to avoid buying news ones and end up with significantly blurred vision or red, irritated eyes. When contact lenses are worn too long or not cleaned well deposits can reduce the oxygen permeability of the lenses and lead to overwear syndrome.

To resolve this issue, the patient should discontinue contact lens wear temporarily, and the doctor should determine the degree of inflammation. Sodium fluorescein staining is used to reveal areas where the epithelium has been compromised and to rule out ulceration. Topical antibiotics or steroids may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms.

After the eye heals, contact lens use can begin again although there should be a refitting for daily lenses and reeducation of lens care guidelines. Studies do show that long-term contact lens wear as well as a previous case of CLARE increases the risk for contact lens overwear syndrome.

Long-term changes due to oxygen deprivation can include abnormal blood vessel growing in the cornea, abnormalities of endothelial cell size and shape, microcysts, corneal thinning, and reduced corneal sensitivity. This may lead to corneal exhaustion syndrome and contact lens intolerance.

To prevent contact lens overwear and the secondary complications, contact lens use should begin gradually, even if your lenses are comfortable the first day. Even the most advanced silicone hydrogel lenses cannot prevent contact lens overwear syndrome if they are not used in the proper way.

 

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Regardless of your age or physical health, an annual comprehensive eye exam will help to detect any eye problems at their early stages when they're most treatable.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

 

Who should get their eyes examined?

Eye examinations are an important part of health maintenance for everyone. Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of eye disease. For children, eye exams can play an important role in normal development and learning.

Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don't know what "normal" vision looks like. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning problem, be sure to schedule an eye examination to rule out an underlying visual cause.

What is the eye doctor checking for?

In addition to evaluating whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, your eye doctor will check your eyes for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. Here are some examples of the conditions that your eye doctor will be looking for:

  • Amblyopia: This occurs when the eyes are misaligned or when one eye has a much different prescription than the other. The brain will "shut off" the image from the turned or blurry eye. If left untreated, amblyopia can stunt the visual development of the affected eye, resulting in permanent vision impairment. Amblyopia is often treated by patching the stronger eye for periods of time.
     
  • Strabismus: Strabismus is defined as crossed or turned eyes. Your eye doctor will check your eyes' alignment to be sure that they are working together. Strabismus causes problems with depth perception and can lead to amblyopia.
     
  • Eye Diseases: Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease, have no obvious symptoms in their early stages. Your eye doctor will check the health of your eyes inside and out for signs of early problems. In most cases, early detection and treatment of eye diseases can help reduce your risk for permanent vision loss.
     
  • Other Diseases: Your eye doctor can detect early signs of some systemic conditions and diseases by looking at your eye's blood vessels, retina and so forth. They may be able to tell you if you are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other problems.
     
    For example, diabetes can cause small blood vessel leaks or bleeding in the eye, as well as swelling of the macula (the most sensitive part of the retina), which can lead to vision loss. It’s estimated that one-third of Americans who have diabetes don't know it; your eye doctor may detect the disease before your primary care physician does, especially if you're overdue for a physical.

What’s the difference between a vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?

Vision screenings are general eye tests that are meant to help identify people who are at risk for vision problems. Screenings include brief vision tests performed by a school nurse, pediatrician or volunteers. The eye test you take when you get your driver's license renewed is another example of a vision screening.

 

A vision screening can indicate that you need to get an eye exam, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam and screenings often miss vision issues.

A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and will involve careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based upon the results of your exam, your doctor will then recommend a treatment plan for your individual needs. Remember, only an eye doctor can provide a comprehensive eye exam. Most family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have shown that they can miss important vision problems that require treatment.

Treatment plans can include eyeglasses or contact lenses, eye exercises or surgery for muscle problems, medical treatment for eye disease or simply a recommendation that you have your eyes examined again in a specified period of time.

No matter who you are, annual eye exams are important for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and preserving your vision for life.

 

LETS TALK ABOUT POLARIZED LENSES AND WHY YOU NEED THEM

Polarized sunglasses have been popular for years with boaters and fishermen who need to reduce reflected glare from the water surrounding them. But now that many others who spend time outdoors have discovered the benefits of polarized lenses, interest in these types of sunglasses has soared.

Besides boaters, outdoor enthusiasts who benefit the most from polarized sunglasses include skiers, bikers, golfers and joggers since all of these activities require the elimination of glare for optimum safety and performance.

Polarized sunglasses can be helpful for driving, too, because they reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces, such as the hood of the car or the road's surface.

Some light-sensitive people, including post-cataract surgery patients and those continually exposed to bright light through windows, may also choose to wear polarized sunglasses indoors.

How Do Polarized Lenses Work?

Light usually scatters in all directions; but when it's reflected from flat surfaces, it tends to become polarized — meaning it travels in a more uniform (usually horizontal) direction. This creates an annoying and sometimes dangerous intensity of reflected light that causes glare and reduces visibility.


Polarized sunglasses provide superior glare protection — especially on the water.

Polarized lenses contain a special filter that blocks this type of intense reflected light, reducing glare.

Though polarized sunglasses improve comfort and visibility, you will encounter some instances when these lenses may not be advisable. One example is downhill skiing, where you don't want to block light reflecting off icy patches because this alerts skiers to hazards they are approaching.

In addition, polarized lenses may reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or light-emitting diode displays (LEDs) found on the dashboards of some cars or in other places such as the digital screens on automatic teller machines and self-service gas pumps.

With polarized lenses, you also may be unable to see your cell phone or GPS device.

Do you know the hidden eye health dangers of daily UV exposure? Find out more

 

Boaters and pilots also have reported similar problems when viewing LCD displays on instrument panels, which can be a crucial issue when it comes to making split-second decisions based strictly on information displayed on a panel. (Some manufacturers of these devices have changed their products to solve the problem, but many have not yet done so.)

However, for most other sports and activities, polarized sunglasses offer great advantages. And today, many polarized lenses are available in combination with other features that can enhance outdoor experiences.

Polarized Sunglasses: Other Considerations

Polarized sunglasses with progressive lenses are a good choice for presbyopes who spend significant time outdoors.

And polarized sunglasses with photochromic lenses are a great choice for anyone who is frequently in and out of the sun on any given day.

For the best comfort and performance with any polarized sunglasses, ask your eye care professional about having anti-reflective coating applied to the backside of the lenses. This will eliminate distracting reflections when the sun is behind you (and can potentially reflect off the back surface of the lenses and into your eyes).

Whether you spend your time waterskiing or boating, in-line skating or mountain biking, driving or jogging, polarized sunglasses may be the right choice to help you enjoy your life outdoors. 

BE SEEN OPTICS Simple tips for healthy eyes

Simple Tips for Healthy eyes

Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.

Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.

Eat right to protect your sight. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.i Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Wear protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii

Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.

Clean your hands and your contact lensesproperly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.

Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.