Every year, thousands of Americans injure their eyes or damage their vision. Follow these guidelines to help protect yourself and your family.
Everyday Eye Care Precautions
Following these suggestions will help protect your eyes while following your daily routine:
Wear plastic safety goggles when working with household cleaning products, weed-killers, fertilizers, and other chemicals or with power tools such as electric drills, saws, sanders, and yard equipment.
Wear one-piece plastic sports frames with polycarbonate lenses when playing softball, racquetball, handball, badminton, basketball, or volleyball.
Wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation whenever you spend time outdoors. Gray, green, and brown lenses provide the most protection.
Wear wraparound frames when spending a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight.
Children's Eye Care
These are some precautions to consider when dealing with children:
Have children wear safety glasses when they're playing with chemistry sets, workshop tools, or any projectile toys.
Have children wear the proper goggles when skiing, snowboarding, and riding on snowmobiles. They should wear helmets with face guards when playing football, ice hockey, roller hockey, and other high-impact sports.
Keep children away from fireworks, firecrackers, and other flammable materials.
Keep children away from activities such as snow blowing, mowing, working with power tools or hand tools, using cleaning agents, applying fertilizer or weed-killer, or doing other eye-hazardous work.
Contact Lens Care
If you wear contact lenses, here are some issues to consider:
Follow lens care and wearing instructions carefully.
Wash hands thoroughly before handling lenses.
Frequently clean and disinfect your lenses' carrying case. Buy a new case every six months.
Don't put contact lenses in your mouth or moisten them with saliva.
Don't use homemade saline solutions.
See your eye doctor if you experience pain with use or any change in your vision.
Don't sleep with contact lenses, unless the lenses are specifically designed for continuous wear. Sleeping with them in can increase your chance of an infection approximately 10 times.
Computer Use and Eye Care
It's important to think about your eyes when working on the computer:
Take rest breaks every 15 minutes or so. Look up and focus on a distant object for two minutes.
Place the screen at right angles to any windows to minimize glare. Use a glare-reduction filter or a three-sided computer hood if glare continues to be a problem.
Adjust the screen angle to minimize reflections from overhead lights and desk lamps.
Keep the screen brightness the same or brighter than the brightness of other objects in the room.
Use an adjustable holder for copy. Adjust the holder so that reference material is at the same height and distance from you as the computer screen.
Wipe the screen often with an anti-static cloth.