Thinking about your vision isn’t something that comes second nature to most of us. In fact, you probably think about your eye health as often as you do about the condition of the ice maker on your fridge or your dust-collecting air filters.
Even though you aren’t thinking about your vision, you’re actively using it more than virtually any of your other five senses. From the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, you depend on your eyes to collect information about the world around you, make decisions, and communicate with others.
At Stoggles, we know the eyes are kind of a big deal. We also know that not thinking about them is the norm. After all, you’ve got work, family, a fantasy football team to draft, and a pile of Netflix documentaries to help you form completely unbiased opinions about eating meat and consuming soy.
Relax: We’ve got you (and your eyes) covered. We’ll talk about why eye health is so important and give you ten tips to keep your eyes healthy for life. Once you put them into practice, these tips and tricks will become second nature.
The Real Deal With Eye Health
Think of all the top-billing organs in your body. Your brain, your heart, lungs, and your digestive tract; these organs are all protected behind layers of skin, muscle, adipose tissue, and hard bone.
Your eyes? They’ve got the thin veil of the eyelid and some gelatinous tissue. No bodyguards.
In order for your eyes to collect light efficiently, they are naturally uncovered. This works great for your vision, but it also leaves your eyes vulnerable to external stressors that aren’t an issue for other really important organs.
Deep inside your eye, toward the back of the structure, lies the retina. Light is collected by your cornea and focused by the pupil and iris. The pupil and iris help determine how much light gets in and travels to the lens. The lens then focuses the collected light directly on the retina.
The retina is home to specialized cells capable of changing the light information received into electrical signals the brain can understand. The electrical signals are then transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then decides that what you see in front of you is this article or your coworker or your dog.
Something unique about retinal cells is that they don’t have the ability to regenerate. Unlike skin cells, which regenerate to form scabs that heal into new skin, your retinal cells have a lifespan. When they are damaged or destroyed, it’s game over… which means it could be game over for a portion of your vision as well.
How Common Is Vision Loss?
Vision loss is more common than you think because, honestly, you really aren’t thinking about it. We wake up and start looking around without even thinking about it. We really take our eyeballs for granted (sorry, eyeballs).
At least 2.2 billion people globally have a near or distance vision impairment. These impairments can happen as a result of the natural aging of the structures in the eye or from an injury like a strike or a scrape.
In the U.S. alone, more than 2,000 people sustain eye injuries on the job. About half of these require a trip to the emergency room, and a significant portion of those result in time off work, which can mean less money to pay your bills or buy vegan soy lattes (the documentaries, remember).
Even if you don’t work in a high-risk environment, you are still at risk at home. About half of all eye-related injuries happen at home from tasks like:
- Working with power tools
- Gardening and lawn care
- Home improvement projects
- Cleaning with powerful chemicals
- Sports and recreational activities
Your eyes are fragile; too fragile to risk their health and safety by not taking steps to care for them. It’d be a real shame to never see the yard of the month sign perched on your perfectly manicured lawn because you failed to wear eye protection while using your edger.
Thankfully, it’s really easy to take care of your eyes and protect your vision for life.
10 Tips for Healthy Eyes
Some of the ways you can keep your eyes healthy are standard issue for leading a healthy life and keeping other systems and organs in check. Eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, and make smart lifestyle choices.
If you’re looking to level up your eye care game, we’ve got ten eye protection tips worth looking at:
1. Eat a Vision-Friendly Diet
You know the basics; avoid too much salt and sugar, drink plenty of water and eat your veggies. If you want to protect your eyes, include fruits and vegetables that are yellow and green. Carrots, which contain beta-carotene, help the body make vitamin A, which is important for protecting against corneal scratches and dryness.
Omega-3 (found in fatty fish) can help support retinal health and are crucial for eye development in babies.
2. Protect Yourself Against Diabetes
Diabetes affects the way your body regulates blood sugar levels. Untreated diabetes can have negative impacts on blood vessels, like the ones in your eyes, and can damage your vision, a condition known as diabetic retinopathy.
Making sure you maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise (at least 150 minutes per week) can help you avoid diabetes and eye-related problems that can come along with it.
3. Move It!
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’re at higher risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol, both of which can contribute to vision problems. Exercise benefits your entire body. There are numerous ways to get moving if you have an injury or instability that prevents you from running or walking.
Swimming, biking, and hand-bikes are all ways to get the low-impact exercise that can protect your vision and your team’s winning streak at kickball.
4. Don’t Smoke
There are zero health benefits of smoking and zero cool points for lighting up. By now, people who smoke do so because quitting is hard. Although it’s a challenge, there are numerous resources available to help you do it safely and successfully.
Smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration (a condition that can lead to blindness) and cataracts. It also causes dry, irritated eyes and is linked to oxidative stress, a condition that causes your tissues to age faster than normal.
5. Know Your Risks
Your family history may give you some clues about your vision, as many eye-related conditions are hereditary. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you’re at higher risk of developing this condition.
We’re not saying you need to take a DNA test and find out about all your missing relatives, but knowing the condition of your parents’ and grandparents’ eyes can help you understand your risks.
6. Protect From the Sun
UVA and UVB rays can both damage your eyes. Much like our skin burns in response to too much sun exposure, our eyes can develop corneal burns and painful conditions like photokeratitis.
If you’re outside, it’s a good idea to wear UV protective lenses, even if it is cloudy. On overcast days, clear, untinted UV-blocking lenses are best. At Stoggles, we craft all of our eyewear from polycarbonate, which naturally blocks UV light without the need for lens tinting. And yes, that includes the top and side shields.
7. Wear Shatter-Proof Eyewear When Needed
Whether you’re mowing the lawn or working on a construction site, you need protective glasses that won’t shatter or break. Strikes and scrapes are some of the most common types of eye-related injuries that can send you to the emergency room faster than chest pains that turn out to be gas.
The American National Standards Institute is the leader in determining the durability of protective safety glasses. Specifically, eyewear that bears the ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification has undergone tests to determine durability against high mass impact and high-velocity impact.
8. Break Away From the Screen
Most of us spend a lot of time in front of screens. From LED televisions to computer screens to tablets and smartphones, our eyes are bombarded with blue light emitted from these devices. Blue light, like ultraviolet light, can penetrate the eye and reach the retina.
In addition to blue light, you blink less when you’re staring at a screen. A good rule of thumb is to use 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 from you.
Another lifesaver? Blue light blocking eyewear. Blue light filtering technology is injected directly into the lenses of Stoggles when they are manufactured (as opposed to a coating), helping keep your eyes safe whether you’re quietly quitting by day or influencing on Tik Tok by night.
9. Opt for Top (and Side) Shields
Traditional eyeglasses and sunglasses leave your eyes vulnerable on the sides and on the top near your eyebrows.
When considering safety eyewear, you’ll find a lot of brands rely on wraparound glasses to offer protection on the sides, but that doesn’t protect your eyes on top and bottom, and the wraparound lenses can warp your perception of reality. This warping comes from how your eye focuses when looking through dense objects (the lenses) as they wrap around your temple area.
If you have prescription lenses, the funhouse mirror effect is even worse. No, no one slipped a psychedelic drug into your chai; you just can’t see properly because of the wraparound effect.
Side and top shields are better options — they are more streamlined and don’t interfere with your prescriptions. Plus, they offer protection at the top of the eye, whereas wraparound glasses don’t. Added bonus, side and top shields won’t give you insect eyes; you’ll always look fresh off the runway.
10. Free Yourself From Fog
Fogging glasses probably don’t seem like a big deal if you’re used to just popping them off and wiping them on your shirt. The reality is that fog can be dangerous to your eyes, just like it’s dangerous when you’re driving.
If you remove safety glasses to clear away fog, you could risk injury to your eyes while they are unprotected. In addition, you’ll also take yourself off task, which can lead to mistakes and additional injuries.
If you’ve had anti-fog glasses before and they’ve let you down, we can probably tell you why. Most anti-fog glasses are sprayed with a fog-resisting mixture that is spotty and uneven, like cell service in the national parks. On the other hand, we dip our lenses into our uniquely-formulated anti-fog recipe for a covering as even as a perfectly dipped ice cream cone for a consistent all-around dip.
Eye Safety the Stoggles Way
The easiest way to protect your eye health is to wear protective safety eyewear. Stoggles make it easy for you to protect your eyes from sun, blue light, splashes, splatters, debris, and fog by incorporating all the benefits you need in one impressively attractive pair of specs.
With numerous lens shapes and color options to choose from, it’s easy to customize your eye protection and get a look you love. With Stoggles, you can keep your eyes safe and comfortable no matter what you have going on during your day without making you look like you walked out of chemistry class.
While you watch those documentaries or install shiplap on (literally every) wall in your home, keep your eyes safe and protect your vision for life with Stoggles.