Back to School: Protecting Your Vision

For many, the first day of school is quickly approaching, which means students (whether school or college bound) are scrambling to get ready while still enjoying their last days of summer break. Back to school supplies are purchased. Check! Backpacks are packed and lunches planned. Check! Eye exams are scheduled. Scheduling an eye exam is one of the most important things you can do in terms of protecting your eyesight during the school year.

To protect your eyesight, consider these simple tips:

Give Your Eyes a Break

Long stretches of time spent staring at a computer screen, whether cramming for an exam or finishing a paper, and watching television at bedtime can result in what’s called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) says that CVS describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone use. The intensity of these problems increase with the amount of digital screen use.

To help alleviate the discomfort of CVS, try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away. This can help reduce eyestrain, and later, myopia (nearsightedness).  Common symptoms associated with CVS include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Sore, tired, burning or itchy eyes

Many of these symptoms are only temporary. However, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor if you have persistent double vision, experience pain or have a noticeable change in your vision as these can be signs of a more serious problem.

Have Your Eyes Examined Every One to Two Years

Experts recommend scheduling a comprehensive eye exam (during which the doctor dilates your pupils with eyedrops) every one to two years, depending on age, risk factors, and whether you currently wear corrective lenses or contacts. Regular eye exams are the cornerstone of visual health! They can assess your risk factor for major diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. A comprehensive eye exam also ensures any corrective lenses or contacts are up to date.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

It’s also important to get enough sleep. The optimal amount of sleep for energy and wellness is seven to eight hours each night according to the National Sleep Foundation. Getting enough sleep also helps to improve attention, memory, and cognitive function. Avoid using digital devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed to avoid stimulating your brain and making it harder to fall asleep.

Set Yourself Up for Academic Success by Scheduling an Eye Exam

80 percent of learning at school is visual. Therefore, vision problems could result in poor grades. Make your or your children’s school year a success by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. To schedule an appointment with Eye Physicians of North Houston, visit www.1960eye.com or give us call today at 281-893-1760. Protecting your eyesight is the best thing you do for yourself!

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