Your body is a finely tuned machine. You eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest to keep it in good condition to protect your overall health. Your eyes? They work fine, too. Chances are, you haven’t given much thought to taking care of them because, unlike bulging biceps or six-pack abs, they don’t require as much work.
Truth is, your eye health is really important. If you want to keep those baby blues (or gorgeous greens or brooding browns) as brilliant as possible, you’re going to have to take care of them. At Stoggles, we know eye health. We’ll help give you new insight (pun intended) into your eye care and give you a better idea of what’s going on behind those luscious lashes.
Taking care of your eyes won’t cut into your gym time and is definitely easier than counting your macros. Sit back, relax, and grab your favorite blue light blockers (we’ll explain later) while we explore the world of eye health and give you seven tips for keeping the windows of your soul healthy.
How Your Eyes See
Vision is impressive. Your eyes work similarly to an extremely high-powered camera. Light is collected by the cornea and focused by the pupil and iris. The pupil determines how much light is allowed inside your eye at one time, which is why it opens and closes like a camera shutter.
The pupil focuses light onto the lens. The lens then transmits this focused light to the back of the eye. Vision happens in this rear area, where the retina is located. The retina contains specialized cells capable of changing the collected light into electrical signals.
The electrical signals produced by the retinal cells are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then puts the pieces of the puzzle together and tells us what we see. The entire process happens in nanoseconds or the speed of light.
Why Eye Health Matters
We rely on our vision more than virtually any other sense, provided we were born with the ability to see and still have it. Vision helps us understand the world around us and helps us communicate with one another.
Losing your ability to see is life-changing, and in most cases, vision doesn’t return. This is because the retinal cells, which are essential to the vision process, do not regenerate. While some mammals and amphibians have the ability to recreate retinal cells, humans do not.
This means when retinal cells are damaged, a portion of your vision is lost. If you’re telling yourself vision loss isn’t very common, you might be surprised to learn the statistics:
In addition, many eye conditions affect vision without causing blindness. Cataracts, glaucoma, and even conditions like diabetic retinopathy can cause you to begin to lose your vision if you don’t take proper care of your eyes.
While certain parts of eye care happen through a balanced diet filled with eye-healthy antioxidants, checkups with your eye doctor, and managing your overall health, there are parts that require eye-specific precautions.
Vision Loss: How Common Is It?
The stats are surprising. More than 2.2 billion people globally have a near or distance vision impairment, and at least one million of those are right here in the United States. The most common cause of vision in the United States is accidents that involve eye-related injuries, followed by other causes like eye diseases and infections.
These accidents can happen in high-risk jobs (like construction or mining), but they can happen right in your very own home with cleaning supplies or lawn care equipment. In fact, the occurrences of eye-related injuries are split almost in half, with half occurring on the job and half occurring at home.
Consider these numbers:
- Every day, more than 2,000 eye-related injuries happen on the job. Of those injuries, about one-third result in a trip to the emergency room, and over 100 result in time off from work and potentially missed pay.
- At home, eye injuries happen due to contact with cleaning solutions and household chemicals, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, edgers, trimmers, saws, and basically anything that you could accidentally jam into your eye.
- Eye injuries happen during recreational activities, too. Sports like basketball, racquetball, and even tennis pose a threat to your eyes if you decide to leave them unprotected while you play.
The risk to your eyes (and your vision) is greater than you think. However, the most surprising statistic of all is this: About 95% of all eye-related injuries are preventable simply by wearing eye protection. Healthy vision starts with protecting your eyes.
Maintaining Eye Health
Your eyes really don’t need a lot of outside assistance to stay healthy, but they do rely on you to keep them safe. Aside from your paper-thin eyelids and a fibrous tissue (called the conjunctiva) that covers the exterior of your eyeball, they don’t have a lot of coverage.
Keeping your eyes protected and healthy is easy with these seven tips:
1. Give Them a Shield
Most eye-related injuries happen due to strikes and scrapes. Whether you’re tackling a home improvement project or in a hazardous work environment, you can protect your eyes by giving them a high-powered level of protection.
The gold standard of eye impact protection is the ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification. The American National Standards Institute is a non-profit corporation that works with agencies like ISEA and OSHA to develop safety regulations that can be used across multiple industries.
For impact resistance, there’s nothing better than ANSI testing. Safety eyewear that bears the ANSI seal of approval has gone through a few famous (and super cool) tests.
- High mass impact test. Safety glasses are strapped to a headform and forced to endure the weight of a sharp-pointed, torpedo-like shaped object dropped from about six feet high directly onto the main surface of the lens.
- High-velocity impact test. During this test, safety glasses are fastened to a headform and blasted with a steel ball bearing at a high speed.
To pass each test, the lenses can’t break or shatter. That’s some serious impact protection your eyes can trust.
2. Level Up Your UV Protection
You’re already used to wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun or, you know, just to look as cool and devilishly good-looking as you are. Just because you wear sunglasses that are dark doesn’t mean they necessarily offer the level of UV protection your eyes need.
UV rays are incredibly damaging to the eyes: Think of the damage that UVA and UVB radiation can do to your skin. These rays can do the same to your eyes because UV light penetrates the cornea and reaches the retina. The macula, a structure that is located in the retina and is responsible for fine, detailed vision, is especially susceptible to damage from the sun.
Exposure to UV light can lead to early-onset macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration usually occurs after age 65. UV light can cause corneal burns (like a sunburn but on the surface of your eye. You could even develop an eye condition called photokeratitis, which involves a constant feeling of dirt or grit in your eyes.
Basic protection can come with your everyday specs. All Stoggles eyewear, for instance, is crafted from polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking with zero tinting needed.
3. Protect Against Blue Light
If you follow directions, you’re wearing a pair of blue light blockers right now (per the first part of this article). If you’re like most of us, you’re reading this while on the toilet and probably aren’t concerned with taking orders from a website dedicated to eye protection.
Blue light, like ultraviolet light, is capable of penetrating the eye and reaching the retina. Like ultraviolet light, it’s emitted from the sun. Unlike ultraviolet light, it’s also emitted from a plethora of our favorite modern devices. LED televisions, light bulbs, computer screens, tablets, and smartphones all emit blue light.
Because our exposure to blue light is typically more frequent and constant than our exposure to UV light, it’s important to protect our eyes. While researchers don’t yet know how damaging long-term exposure to blue light may be, they do know that it can cause eye problems and other symptoms like:
- Eye strain
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
Avoiding blue light is as easy as donning a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. Two common forms of blue light-blocking technology are:
- The lenses are dipped in a coating that will filter out blue light.
- The blue-light blocking technology is injected directly into the lenses as the glasses are created.
Both of these methods allow you to see a crystal-clear picture of what’s in front of you without risking the health of your eyes, but one is the clear choice. The second method is longer-lasting (which is why we use this one at Stoggles).
4. Clear the Fog
Whether you’re trying to glimpse the Golden Gate Bridge on your vacation to misty San Francisco or see through your specs as you dominate on the basketball court, fog can be a real pain.
While fog can be environmental, fogging occurs most often by our own sweat and body heat rather than swiftly changing environments that have different temperatures. So, no matter where the fog comes from, if you’re wearing safety glasses to keep your eyes protected from a specific hazard, removing them to wipe down water vapor could put your eyes at risk.
In addition, every time you have to break to wipe your glasses, you are taken off task, which can cause you time out of a sport you love or cause you to lose valuable time at work.
Instead, opt for anti-fog glasses. Better than anti-fog wipes, which only offer a temporary solution, anti-fog glasses are treated with a chemical that absorbs these tiny fog droplets and prevents the lenses from ever fogging up themselves.
Pro tip: All Stoggles feature anti-fog technology, and we 10/10 recommend it over rubbing dish soap over the surface of your glasses. We aren’t sure who created that trendy solution, but it’s not a very good one.
5. Seal Off Areas of Vulnerability
Your regular eyeglasses and sunglasses leave your eyes vulnerable in two crucial places; just above your eyes near the eyebrows and on the sides of your eyes by the temples. These areas are prime targets for dust, debris, and small, flying objects.
While wraparound glasses may be popular and fix the side vulnerability issue, they have an Achille's heel: they can warp the way you see the world. If you have prescription glasses, wraparound lenses can cause you to experience a fun-house mirror effect. Wraparound glasses also don’t protect very well, leaving the tops and bottoms of your eyes vulnerable.
Plus, these glasses sit further away from one’s face. Adding a prescription to a wraparound pair of glasses is near-impossible to do, primarily because of how warped the view from the lenses will be. It’s a nightmare for any optometrist, and, in most situations, they might turn you down and not attempt to do that job.
Instead, opt for streamlined side and top shields. These protect your eyes on the tops and sides without affecting the way you see. They also give you the added benefit of not looking like an insect, which is arguably very important.
6. Get Regular Eye Exams
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it for safe measure. You should have your eyes checked regularly. It’s important to ensure your eyes are healthy, and it’s the best way to check that your prescription glasses are the correct strength.
Your optometrist and/or ophthalmologist can detect potential vision problems before they start and can ensure you are taking the proper measures needed to care for your eyes. They can also spot eye infections and other issues that might already be present.
If you haven’t had a dilated eye exam from an ophthalmology specialist in over two years, make an appointment. Your eye health can deteriorate each year, with a higher risk of deterioration as you get older.
7. Seek Supreme Style
The aforementioned safety measures aren’t very helpful if you aren’t wearing your glasses because they aren’t aesthetically pleasing. Keep your eyes the safest possible by investing in eyewear you’ll actually use. At Stoggles, we make it easy to see clearly and look great while doing so.
We design our protective eyewear with all the protective features you need, wrapped up in a sleek, understated package you’ll actually want to wear. It’s a win-win that will keep your eyes safe and your style on-trend.
Healthy Eyes the Stoggles Way
Your eye health is important, and you don’t have to do much to keep your eyes healthy. Protecting them from external stressors and hazards is as easy as grabbing a pair of Stoggles and wearing them as much as possible. Protect your eyes and retain your style by trusting Stoggles to keep your eyes safe while looking and feeling great.
Eye Conditions and Diseases | National Eye Institute
Blindness and vision impairment | WHO
Fast Facts of Common Eye Disorders | CDC
Age-Related Macular Degeneration | Department of Ophthalmology