It happens to most of us in our mid to late 30s; books become blurry, our tablets and phones seem to have text that continually shrinks. There’s no avoiding it; our eye health is suffering. Some of the vision issues we experience are age-related, but taking care of our vision can help us avoid losing vision and experiencing eye-related issues for a bit longer.
The team at Stoggles cares about eye health—it’s why we build our protective eyewear with the high level of care (and style) you’ve come to expect from us. Together, we’ll talk about what keeps your eyes healthy, what isn’t good for them, and give you some lifestyle hacks that can help improve your vision.
Eye Health 101
We don’t really think about our eye health unless it starts to decline. Our eyes are basically in “set it and forget it” mode unless they bother us with blurry vision, itchiness, or some other kind of irritation. This is natural; unlike your biceps, you can’t curl your way to stronger eyesight or dramatically improve their aesthetics by toning them.
Eye health is more than just being able to see clearly. There are layers of eye care that keep your eyes in healthy condition.
Here’s what makes up healthy eyes:
Proper Vision, Corrected to 20/20
Perfect 20/20 vision isn’t possible for everyone. In fact, about 25% of the population will never be able to have vision that is correctable to this standard of perfection. However, part of keeping your eyes healthy is ensuring that your vision is corrected as best as possible.
Not wearing corrective lenses won’t damage your eyes, but you’ll definitely experience some unpleasant side effects like headaches, inability to focus, eye strain, and general discomfort. Trust us; vision correction will make your life at least 40% better.
Properly Managed Eye Conditions
If you suffer from an eye-related disease like glaucoma or macular degeneration, you should be under the continual care of an eye care professional. Even if you have an eye-related illness that isn’t curable, making sure it’s properly managed with medications, exams, and/or surgical intervention can mean keeping your vision longer.
Safety Precautions: Wear Eye Protection
If you don’t work in an environment that requires safety glasses, you probably don’t think about wearing them, but that’s a mistake that could negatively impact your eye health.
Even playing a dart gun game with your kids presents an opportunity for you to take a foam pellet to the eye, resulting in an unfortunate injury (with a semi-embarrassing story).
Protective safety glasses should be worn during activities like:
- Cleaning with household chemicals and bleach
- Games that involve flying pieces and parts
- Home improvement projects
Most eye injuries are completely avoidable by simply wearing safety glasses. Your vision isn’t something to toy with; eye cells don’t regenerate, so once you’ve lost your vision due to an injury, chances are it is gone for good.
Routine, Regular Eye Exams
Just like you get routine blood work and health exams, your eyes should be examined once a year, too. If you don’t need corrective lenses, it’s easy to dismiss getting an eye exam. Routine examinations can help ensure your vision is protected and detect early signs of eye illness.
Having your eyes dilated allows your eye doctor to examine the health of your retina, where your vision originates. Ensuring your retina is healthy means ensuring your vision is healthy and protected.
What Makes Your Eyes Unhealthy?
After the holidays, we’re all keenly aware of what makes our bodies unhealthy. Too much food, not enough movement, and probably a little too much spiked cider. For the eyes, determining what makes them unhealthy is a little more tricky.
Your eye health is affected by your diet and lifestyle.
Your diet is important for your eye health. Your eyes are supplied with nutrients from your blood through a series of precariously small blood vessels. If you aren’t eating enough of the right foods, your eyes won’t have the vitamins and fatty acids needed to function properly, which can lead to a decline in your vision.
Among the top nutrients that your eyes need are vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zinc, and zeaxanthin. The best way to ensure you’re getting the good stuff isn’t by taking a supplement; it’s by eating a balanced diet. Even if you take a supplement, your body won’t absorb it as well as it will from the food you eat.
Bad Lifestyle Habits
As the new year approaches, so do our lists of impossible goals. This year, make your resolutions more manageable and opt for ways to keep your body and your vision healthy.
Smoking, for instance, has no redeeming health quality, which you already know. Did you know, however, that it’s really bad for your eyes? Smoking increases your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts and is known to increase eye sensitivity.
Drinking in excess is also a bad habit for your eyes. Drinking in excess can lead to blurred vision, double vision, and rapid eye movement (and we’re talking after you’ve sobered up).
If you get itchy, watery eyes every time the seasons change, you’ve probably got allergies. Allergies affecting your eyes can be seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies are related to blooming plants, while perennial allergies are caused by everyday allergens like pet dander or mold.
Symptoms of eye allergies include:
- Itchy eyes
- Watering and/or excessive tearing
- Swelling or puffiness
- Burning and pain
Protecting your eyes from allergens may be as simple as donning a pair of chic safety glasses when you know you’ll be exposed to them.
You’ve probably heard about blue light but might not know what it is. Blue light is a part of the light spectrum that you can’t see. It’s made up of short, high-energy waves. Blue light is emitted from the sun and from devices like phones, tv screens, tablets, LED everything, and fluorescent bulbs.
The problem with blue light is that our eyes can’t properly filter it out. Our eyes can’t filter out any blue light, which means any blue light we are exposed to has direct access to the retina, where it can become most damaging.
Research is still ongoing to determine the long-term effects of blue light exposure. What we do know is that it causes eye strain, headaches, fatigue, and potential vision damage. A pair of blue-light blocking glasses can keep your eyes safe and help you avoid eye fatigue and headaches.
UV rays are incredibly damaging to your eyes; that's just one of the reasons we wear sunglasses. Note that simply wearing sunglasses may not be enough to protect your eyes from harmful rays. Your sunglasses need to specifically be UV blocking. Most are, but if you opt for a super cheap, bargain bin pair, you might be surprised to learn that they aren’t.
The shade of your sunglasses doesn’t equate to their UV protection. For instance, Stoggles clear safety glasses block UV rays. Our SunStoggles are UV blocking, too, but with the comfort of protective shading to keep you cool in the sun.
Seven Lifestyle Habits To Improve Your Vision
Now that you know what makes your eyes healthy and what can make them unhealthy, here are seven tips to help you increase your eye health and protect your vision. Unlike that resolution to hit the gym at 4:00 a.m. every day, these are changes you can easily accommodate into your lifestyle and schedule.
1. Use UV Protective Lenses
UV protection is crucial to your eye health year-round. Even in colder winter months, using UV protective lenses will keep your eyes safe from the sun and ultraviolet rays.
Additionally, if you have a job that involves exposure to UV rays like welding or mining, you’ll need to wear protective UV lenses to ensure your eyes stay safe and healthy.
2. Go For Blue Light Protection
Blue light has a one-way ticket to your retinal cells. At best, blue light leaves your eyes feeling strained, weak, and fatigued, giving you headaches and making you feel tired.
The best way to protect your eyes from blue light is by wearing blue light protective glasses. These glasses have been coated with a material that refracts blue light rays so that your eyes stay protected.
3. Eat Healthy
This isn’t your call to try keto or a mandate to regulate your macros. Eating better for your eye health really means eating a variety of more whole foods. Simply incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can ensure your eyes are getting more of the nutrients, protein, and antioxidants they need.
Green leafy vegetables are key—Broccoli, Romaine lettuce, and collard greens.
Couple your newfound love of leaves with a few servings of fatty fish. Don't worry; you don't need to stomach sardines for those Omega-3 fatty acids (unless that's your thing).
Add some fish (like Salmon, Mackerel, or Tuna) to your plate, and your eyes will thank you—as will the rest of your body.
Plus, eating healthy can help prevent diabetes. Diabetes can contribute to high blood sugar and potentially diabetic retinopathy.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking is 100% detrimental to your health and the health of your eyes. There is zero redeeming quality in smoking a cigarette, and breaking the habit can be difficult. There are numerous resources available to help you quit smoking if you haven’t been successful with it in the past.
Smoking increases the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
5. Wear Safety Glasses
If there’s a chance you could injure your eye, wear safety glasses. Even if you don’t think you need to, even if you think it’s lame. Safety glasses can keep your eyes from injuries that could cost you your vision.
Wearing safety glasses while you participate in an activity that presents a risk to your eye is smart.
6. Get an Eye Exam
We know time is limited and the last thing you want to do is spend a few hours getting a comprehensive eye exam, especially knowing your eyes will remain dilated for a few hours after your appointment. However, the health of your eye depends on your willingness to get your eyes checked yearly.
Astigmatism? Farsightedness? Nearsightedness? Want contact lenses? Your doctor can do all of that and more.
If you need corrective lenses, your doctor will be able to determine so from your exam. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your retinal health is good and you aren’t developing early-onset eye illnesses. This is critical, even for those without a family history of eye disease.
Most eye exams are covered by insurance. But, if you don’t have coverage, many doctors will give you an exam on a sliding income scale.
7. Get Stoggles
One of the easiest (and we’d argue stylish) ways to improve your eye health is by grabbing a pair of easy-to-wear Stoggles. Our Stoggles fit like your favorite frames, protect like your lab glasses, and feel like your favorite specs.
Stoggles protect your eyes from:
- Blue light
- UV rays
- Spills, splatters, and squirts
- Impact from debris
- Looking like a middle school lab student
It’s easy to protect your eyes and preserve your sense of style when you choose the only safety glasses that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are protective.
Stoggles Every Day Keeps Bad Eye Health Away
Yeah, we said it. For keeping your eyes healthy and maintaining your vision, wearing Stoggles is just the smarter, easier choice. You can grab a pair of Stoggles with your corrective lenses, too. We process your eyeglass prescriptions in-house, saving you time and money.
This year, make a decision to keep your eyes healthy by protecting your eyes with Stoggles. It’s the painless, easiest way to keep your eyes safe and level up your fashion game at the same time.
Keep Your Eyes Healthy | National Eye Institute
36 Fabulous Foods to Boost Eye Health | American Academy of Ophthalmology
Eyes and Alcohol: The Effects of Drinking | Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute
What is 20/20 vision? | University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics