New Year's Resolution: Be Nicer to Your Eyes
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. But they’re also what allow most of us to navigate the world around us — from driving to working to texting our friends to taking in the sunset.
Although our vision allows us to make the most of our days, most of us take our eye health for granted. And there are many environmental and social factors that can affect the health and longevity of our vision.
From our first email of the day to winding down with a Netflix binge, most of us spend a lot of our day in front of a screen — as much as 12 hours every day! Whether we’re chatting with friends, working, or browsing for new shades, smartphones and laptops are staples throughout our day.
But too much screen time can cause eye strain, which can eventually lead to long term damage to your eyes. Yikes.
And if you love the sunshine as much as we do, then you can’t ignore the side effects of too much sun. Over time, UV rays can damage your eye health and lead vision loss (and possibly blindness) as you age.
On top of that, glare from the sun can cause you to strain your eyes and knock you off your A game — whether you’re surfing, skiing, fishing, or just playing a game of pickup volleyball.
But just like you go to the gym to keep your body healthy, there are ways you can actively prioritize your eye health.
It’s all about eating right, developing eye-happy habits, and sporting the right sunglasses and blue light glasses to protect your vision — no matter what the sun (or your smartphone) throws at you.
Make it a New Year’s resolution to keep your eyesight sharp with these 5 tips.
Eat Eye-Healthy Foods
You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” Turns out, this also counts when it comes to your eye health.
Certain foods have nutrients that your eyes need to stay in shape. Stick to foods that are high in omega-3s, antioxidants, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and C.
The good news is that foods with eye-boosting nutrients are also super tasty. Here’s a list of eye-friendly foods to include in your next meal:
Salmon & Tuna
Here in SoCal, we’re lucky to always be just minutes from the ocean, where fresh seafood is available year-round. But you don’t have to live on the beach to find eye-saving fish.
Salmon and tuna are two kinds of fish that are easy to get in any grocery store. Your eyes and taste buds will thank you.
Omega-3s, vitamin E, and zinc are the name of the game here. You’ll find them by the boatload (the beanload?) in black-eyed peas, kidney beans and lima beans.
When a food is orange, it usually means that it’s high in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps your body make vitamin A, a nutrient that your eyes need to be able to absorb light.
Mangos, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots are all good choices. As long as that color comes naturally...orange Starbursts don’t count.
Spinach, kale, and collard greens will get you antioxidants and vitamin C, both things your eyes love. Rock these in a salad, smoothie, or stir fried with an egg.
Speaking of eggs, these little superfood bombs have the antioxidants, zinc, and vitamin C and E you need to protect your eyes.
Avoid Digital Eye Strain
If you can’t unplug for good and live the good life (we wish!), you can at least practice a few eye-relieving habits throughout your work day.
A few tips for avoiding eye strain and damage to your eyes when using screens:
Stick to the 20-20-20 rule
To maintain 20-20 vision, use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something that’s 20 feet away (or further) for at least 20 seconds. Easy. Your brain could probably use the break anyway.
A screen filter is super handy for minimizing glare off your screen. Similarly, use window blinds to keep bright sunshine from reflecting off the glass into your eyes.
Build longer breaks into your schedule
Every 2 hours, plan to take a 15-to-20-minute break from the screen.
Don’t get too close
Screens should always be at least one arm’s length away from your eyeballs.
Watch the brightness
Set your screen to be equally bright with the light in the room. A really bright screen in a dark room will strain your eyes, and so will a really dark screen on a bright day. Adjust accordingly.
Keep your eyes moisturized
Eye drops and a humidifier are two ways to help keep your eyes from getting too dry. Dry eyes are irritated eyes, which can mean blurry vision and eye strain.
Get Regular Eye Exams
You might think you’re doing everything right for your eyes, but the only way to be really sure is to get them checked every once in a while.
Go to the eye doctor at least every other year to stay on top of your eye health.
The eye doctor can check on your vision and if needed fix you up with prescription glasses or contacts, which will definitely save your from straining your eyes to see clearly.
On top of that, an eye exam is also a good way to make sure you aren’t developing any more serious eye issues.
Use Blue Light Glasses
Blue light is the light that comes off most modern screens, including your TV and your smartphone. If you just used these kinds of devices for a few minutes here and there, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but since we spend so much time staring at screens, the amount of blue light our eyes are absorbing can be bad news.
For starters, it can give you serious eye strain, which comes with dry, itchy eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. And overexposure to blue light can make it harder to get to sleep at night.
Blue light can also make it harder to concentrate. You still with us?
Wear Polarized Sunglasses with UV-Protection
We’re from SoCal, so we love the sun. But a sunny disposition can be an imposition when it comes to your eye health.
There are two ways the sun can harm your eyes: UV rays and glare.
Ultraviolet rays are always a threat to our eyes, even on a cloudy winter day. Over decades, the onslaught of UV on your eyes could end up damaging your vision. You could even get cataracts, which can cloud your vision and make your eyes more sensitive to light.
Glare happens when sunlight reflects off of water, snow, the road, metal, and glass. As a result, you’ve got to squint and strain just to see, which can lead to eye strain.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors then you’re constantly dealing with glare from the sun. And seeing clearly is safety rule number one when you’re flying down a ski hill, climbing a mountain, boating, or anything else that requires fast reactions and crystal clear vision.
Polarized sunglasses with UV-protection built in is the best shield against glare.
I-SEA has a ton of styles for every look and adventure, from happy hour on the patio to fishing on the open sea.
Shop Blue Light Glasses and Polarized UV-Protected Sunglasses from I-SEA
We can’t make you eat the right foods, go to the eye doctor, or follow the 20-20-20 rule. But we can make it easy for you to protect your eyes — and look good doing it.
Check out our lines of blue light glasses and polarized, UV-protected sunglasses:
Browse our 3 most popular UV-proof polarized sunglasses for men:
Browse our 3 most popular UV-proof polarized sunglasses for women: