Despite the fact that eyesight is one of the most important senses, people often struggle to prioritise the health of their eyes. So long as you can remember the last time you had an eye exam, and so long as your vision is still adequate, you may not be inclined to visit an optometrist. However, that may not be a good idea—especially if you wear glasses or contact lenses. That's not the only thing you should be doing for your vision, either—not least because the care for contact lenses and glasses is different. Here's a rundown of how to take care of yourself.
Perhaps the most important part of your eye health is attending those eye exams. It's recommended that you visit at least once every two years. However, you should take this as the base level. If you have a more complex eye condition or if your vision has been deteriorating over the past few years, it may be worthwhile to increase that frequency and make annual visits instead. Your optometrist will be able to advise you best.
However, do also bear in mind that if you wear contact lenses, you will need to have a separate examination. This is because contact lenses can cause additional issues in rare cases and need to be watched a little more carefully for signs of those issues. You can always schedule these appointments on the same day for convenience if you prefer.
Self-Monitor Your Health
Take deliberate notice of your eyes and your vision on a regular basis. For example, every month or so, you should ensure that you can still just as easily read signs and car registration plates from behind the wheel. That way, it'll be much harder for deterioration to creep up on you; you'll have a benchmark to measure it by. Equally, you should pay attention to how frequently you suffer from headaches, and whether your eyes are often dry. In both cases, you may wish to check in early with your optometrist.
Rest Your Eyes
There is a myth that you can wear your glasses 'too much', causing further deterioration in your vision and actually harming your eyes. This is not the case. In fact, the reverse is true; not wearing your glasses all day—if that's what you're supposed to do—will cause strain.
However, both disposable and long-term contact lenses are different and do require rest periods. They restrict airflow to your eye and can lead to dryness and discomfort. As such, you should ensure you only wear your contact lenses when you need to; for example, you could remove them and switch back to glasses as soon as you get home from work. Most important of all, never wear them to bed.
Taking care of your eyes is mostly just a matter of paying attention. Eye problems often develop slowly, making it difficult to realise that you have any symptoms. As such, attending your appointments regularly and being deliberately observant will make all the difference. Talk with a doctor at a clinic like EyeSelect if you have questions.