Looking out for your eyes

A close-up of an eye.

How many of us actually take the time to care for our eyes?

It’s natural for us not to fix something that isn’t broken. We only tend to our bones when we break them, our skin when we scrape it and our eyes when the words on the lecture screen start to appear a little blurry. Following World Health Day, I would like to share with everyone the ways in which I take care of my eyes because I feel like eye health is something we tend not to focus on. Even as a member of the 'four eyes club' myself, I haven’t paid much attention to my eyeballs until recently.

A couple of weeks ago, I booked an appointment with the optometrist after finding it difficult to see the words displayed on the screens in front of the lecture theatre. I have never experienced a blur as bad as this one with my other glasses, so I thought I’d better get it fixed before it worsened. Unsurprisingly, the optometrist told me that my prescription has increased – after so many eye checks and new glasses, I’ve gotten used to being delivered such news. She assured me that the increase wasn’t too bad but something else is.

I was shocked (and quite frankly, scared too) when she told me that my retinas have been overworking themselves. She explained that my vision has been diverging outwards when focusing on something (ie: a word in a book) when it should be focusing inwards toward that thing. No wonder I found it slightly uncomfortable to read sometimes, like I had to continuously squint and blink to get a clear view of the words even when I had my glasses on. She told me that was why my eyes took some time to adjust to the words I’m reading.

Had I not gone to get my eyes checked, my vision would’ve probably worsened drastically in the coming years. I suppose that’s why it’s advisable for us to get them checked every two years, especially if you have vision-related issues. 

Another thing that I know I should be doing but sometimes forget (but really, I’m just too lazy to) is to take a break from the screens. This applies to everyone, whether you wear glasses or not. I’ve been trying to practice the 20 20 20 rule – look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Especially since going into lockdown and doing the whole online learning number, I think it’s more important than ever to pry our eyes away from our screens once in a while. And then, of course, there’s the whole “eat your veggies” advice – carrots are my go-to! Wearing sunnies is also very important whenever it’s sunny but also even it it's not. Plus, they make you look cool and you can sleep on the bus without people knowing.

These are just a few things that I do to keep my eyes as healthy as they can be. As World Health Day passes for another year, let’s remember to be gentler with our eyes.

Tagged in What messes with your head, eye health, health, Student health