You might’ve noticed that your vision has changed in the past few weeks, months or years. Our daily routines have changed throughout the pandemic, leading to some pretty dramatic changes in our health — some changes are for the better, others are seemingly for the worse.
While your vision changes ever so slightly day to day, we’re spending more time at home in front of screens and less time outside interacting with “the real world”. The net effect is that eye health has suffered, so can you enhance your vision by improving your eye health under these new circumstances?
How Do You Know If You Have Good (or Bad) Eyesight?
First of all, you need to know if you have good eyesight. Good eyesight can be described as anything in line with or better than 20/20 vision — or 6/6 vision — which defines “normal visual acuity”. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see objects clearly at 20 feet, or approximately six metres. You shouldn’t need glasses for day-to-day tasks, and generally, the world appears clear most or all of the time. If this isn’t the case, you might need eyeglasses.
How to Improve Your Vision and Enhance Eye Health
If you’ve recently experienced more bouts of blurred vision, eye strain, fuzziness or headaches, it could be a sign that you need glasses. If you’re already a glasses wearer, it could be a sign that your eyes have changed — something that happens naturally as we get older — and you need an updated set of prescription lenses.
To improve your vision and maintain good eye health, you should do the following:
- Book an Eye Test
One of the easiest ways to improve your vision is to visit an optician. They can accurately assess your eyesight with a series of tests, but worryingly, many people have missed eye appointments that would identify problems with vision or eye health. This means that thousands of people could be experiencing underlying conditions that may affect their health and eyesight.
Only an optician’s evaluation will determine if glasses or contact lenses could enhance your vision and identify any potential health concerns relating to your eyes. Even if you’ve never needed glasses before or have a minor prescription, book a routine eye exam for some peace of mind.
- Find a Pair of Glasses You Like Wearing
If you need glasses to see clearly, it’s important to wear them as required. Your vision won’t suffer if you keep your glasses prescription up to date, but you can put unnecessary strain on your eyes if you don’t wear your glasses when you should. This is why finding a pair of glasses you like wearing is essential, but picking a pair of glasses can be a challenge.
There’s a lot to consider before making a glasses purchase, including your face shape, stylistic preferences and your budget. The best way to find the perfect pair is by trying on lots of different styles to see what suits your face, instead of relying on guesswork alone. Using the latest virtual reality technology, you can try on designer glasses in the comfort of your home — or wherever you happen to be in the world — making it easier than ever to find glasses you’ll love wearing.
- Manage Your Screen Time
It’s easier said than done, but limiting your screen time is one of the best ways to improve your eye health. Working from home has had an adverse effect on overall eye health. Limiting screen time outside of work is greatly beneficial to your well-being, not just your eyesight.
Take regular breaks using the 20-20-20 rule — for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something at least 20 feet away. This helps your eye muscles relax and is like hitting a reset button for vision. You’ll be able to work more consistently and comfortably by adopting this simple technique that protects your eyes.
- Practice Eye Yoga
Tiny muscles inside your head control your eyes. When your eyes are tired, it’s usually because these muscles are strained and can no longer keep up with the demands of your vision. Yoga helps you to maintain your physical fitness, and eye yoga is no different. Yogic exercises for your eyes focus on helping your muscles stretch out, relax and return to optimal working capacity.
Performing focus shifting, palming, or controlled eye-rolling daily, weekly or bi-weekly might help you avoid eye strain and help your eyes recover from a hard day of taking in endless streams of information. While more research is needed to examine the benefits of eye yoga, it can’t hurt to try something different to encourage your eye muscles to relax.
- Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
Sunglasses do more than make you look cool, and they protect your eyes from UV rays emitted by the sun. That means they’re not just for summer either (which is great news if you live in the UK). Whether the sun shines or not, bright days throughout the year can force you to squint when you’re outdoors. Squinting can be subconscious, but it can put a strain on your facial muscles, leading to migraines or headaches. Circumvent this problem with UVA and UVB-rated sunglasses.
The Benefits of Working on Your Vision
Making a concerted effort to improve your eye health and protect your vision has numerous benefits. Not only can you improve visual acuity — giving you a better quality of life — but it can help you avoid headaches or migraines and increase your focus while you’re at work. There are some pretty unpleasant consequences to neglecting your eyesight, so take some time out of your day to treat your eyes to a well-earned break and ensure your vision is supported with the right glasses or contact lenses you need.
Until next time.