8 Tips to Protect Your Eyes This Summer

A lot has changed for the summer of 2020, but Colorado optometrists want you to know that protecting your eyes is still important. Colorado’s sunlight is roughly 20% brighter than at sea level. Our sunlight is even more intense at the top of a mountain as there is less atmosphere at higher elevations to filter out UV rays. Don’t underestimate the power of the Colorado sun!


Colorado’s Optometrists Give You Eight Ways to Protect Your Eyes This Summer


1.     Wear UVA/UVB Blocking Sunglasses

Did you know your eyes can get sunburned? It’s true and it’s all too common in the bright Colorado sun. Grab a pair of 100% UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses to safeguard your eye health and wear them when outside. Pair your sunglasses with a fashionable hat for even more UV protection. Start your kids off right by protecting their eyes early on. Bonus, tiny sunglasses are cute!

2.     Wear Swim Goggles

Chlorine is rough on the eyes so be sure to protect them with swim goggles. Typically, chlorine exposure in a pool will dry out your eyes and make them temporarily red. However, conjunctivitis/pink eye is a common infection for swimmers as it spreads easily in the water. Make sure those goggles are sealed well!

3.     Wear a Hat

A hat is a great addition to sunglasses for increased eye protection. Wearing a hat will shade additional parts of the eyeball and skin around the eyes. It’s also a great runner up if you forget sunglasses as you’re headed out on the trail.


4.     Clean Hands Make Healthy Eyes

Yes, washing your hands and not touching your face is important for eye health. It’s even more essential during the pandemic to wash our hands, but it was also significant before COVID-19 to prevent the transmission of disease and illness that can enter through touching your eyes and face. Plus, washing your hands reduces your risk of contracting conjunctivitis/pink eye any time of year!


5.     Eye Protection for DIY Projects/Activities and Sports

Be sure to wear safety glasses for DIY projects and high-risk activities like sports or lighting fireworks. You only get two eyes and these high-risk moments can quickly go awry with an unexpected eye injury. Do you have protective glasses for yourself and each family member?


6.     Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration is very common in the dry Colorado summers, but is easy to avoid. When you don’t drink enough water it begins to impact your body’s ability to create tears and then can cause vision issues. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Be sure you bring plenty of water for those outdoor activities!


7.     Get Sleep!

We all do better with a good night’s sleep and so do your eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep it impacts your visual acuity. Have you ever driven tired and then realized it wasn’t safe? That’s your eyes needing some rest. You may need to catch up on sleep or you might just need to rest your eyes for a while.

8.     Get Your Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam

Keep your eyes healthy with a comprehensive eye exam performed by your optometrist. An annual eye exam gives you a better look at your overall physical health. It will also allow for early detection of eye related diseases and non-eye related health issues. The Center for Disease Control states that, “Of the estimated 61 million US adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. Regular eye care can have a life-changing impact on preserving the vision of millions of people.” Find a trusted Colorado optometrist today!

Reduce Digital Fatigue with These Tips from Colorado Eye Doctors

As social distancing becomes a normal way of life during the COVID-19 pandemic many individuals are participating in increased screen time while technology becomes the hub for employees, social circles, students, teachers, families, and entire communities to stay connected. This increased screen time for many is an important part of life and staying healthy mentally and emotionally during the global pandemic, so Colorado’s optometrists have tips for you on how to take care of your eyes while staying connected, attending school, and working from home.

Potential Signs That Screen Time is Impacting Your Eyes

  • Increased headaches or migraines
  • Dry eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eye strain

Colorado’s Optometrists Offer Tips for Keeping Eyes Healthy During Increased Screen Time:

  1. Observe the 20-20-20 Rule
    Adults and children should take frequent screen breaks by practicing the 20-20-20 rule. When using any screen, every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. To get in the habit of this, set a timer every 20 minutes for a few days as a reminder to use the 20-20-20 exercise.
  2. Take Blink Breaks
    Looking at a screen naturally has users blinking less and that can cause dry eyes, which can also cause a number of issues including blurry vision. When you take your 20-20-20 break be sure to take a few long blinks. This will help hydrate your eyes and reduce any discomfort from reduced blinking.
  3. Reduce Blue Light
    Blue light is linked to computer fatigue and eye strain. Colorado optometrists  recommend wearing glasses that filter out this light. If you’re unsure about finding true blue light glasses, you can contact your optometry office for recommendations.
  4. Buy an Alarm Clock
    Blue light suppresses our bodies production of melatonin. This is one of the chemicals that tells our body it is time to go to sleep. Eliminating nighttime phone use in your bedroom tends to nurture better sleep and it eliminates blue light exposure from looking at your phone during the night. It’s recommended that you use an alarm clock in your bedroom and keep your phone in another room or on customized “do not disturb settings” while being placed across the room.
  5. Establish a Screen Schedule
    During this time, we can’t get away from using screens, but it’s important to evaluate if there is any way to reduce screen time. Many families are finding that no screens after 8pm is a great rule to start winding down for bed and reducing stress. Begin looking at ways to reduce mindless social media scrolling and shift some of your entertainment choices to non-screen activities during certain times of the day or week.
  6. Check Your Vision
    If you’re experiencing more headaches, blurry vision or eye discomfort it’s a good idea to get a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. This will ensure that your eyes are equipped with the correct prescription lenses/contacts and that any other vision issues are addressed. Stay away from online eye exams or vision screenings as they are not a reliable tool for the full picture of your eye health. Find a local optometrist here.

Colorado Optometrists Give Tips to Prevent Masks from Fogging Up Glasses

Many Coloradans who wear glasses for vision challenges have been struggling to properly wear masks in public due to their prescription glasses or sunglasses fogging up. The Colorado Optometric Association, 2020 Eyes Colorado and Colorado’s doctors of optometry have compiled the following solutions to make mask wearing easier. These tips will help you reduce or eliminate fogging and keep you from touching your mask and face when in public.

Now let’s talk about making mask wearing with glasses easier!

Using Medical Tape
Applying medical tape to the top of the mask across the nose and cheeks will significantly reduce fogging since the air flow will have to find a different path to exit the mask. This is great for use in public places when you don’t want to fidget with your mask or glasses, but it can irritate sensitive skin. If irritation occurs, individuals can try different types of medical tape or limiting using tape for a bi-weekly shopping trip or only in higher risk situations.

Washing Lenses with Dish Soap
This anti-fogging method has been used by surgeons, scuba divers, and now the general public. Immediately before wearing a mask, wash lenses with dish soap and then dry the lenses with a lens cloth. The soapy water leaves a thin film on the lenses that reduces surface tension and spreads water droplets evenly across the surface so the condensation is not visible. Be careful not to scratch the lenses when drying!

Putting Tissue Inside of the Mask
Simply use a tissue folded into a rectangle and tape inside of your mask across the bridge of your nose. This will act as a barrier to fogging glasses and the tissue also absorbs moisture build up inside the mask.

Why wear a mask? The CDC and Governor Polis recommend that the public wear cloth face masks in public settings in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. Cloth masks can be made at home using household items or low-cost items and should be washed regularly. It’s important to note that individuals should not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when wearing or removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. Masks should not be worn by children under 2 years of age. Learn more about face masks and view instructions on making them on the CDC website.

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