New Year’s resolutions can be hard to stick to and we wouldn’t want to push another bunch of unattainable goals onto you, so instead we’ve pulled together 5 easy things that you can do to give your eyes a boost this year.
Get an eye test
Visiting the optician at least once every 2 years is vital as your vision can change significantly in between check-ups. If you’re a contact lens wearer, it’s a good idea to have an eye test yearly so you’re wearing lenses with the most accurate prescription and avoid unnecessary strain or discomfort.
Eye tests can also detect symptoms of a range of health conditions, not limited to your eyes. When you visit an optician for an eye test, the optometrist or ophthalmologist that carries out the examination has been trained to recognise any problems such as cataracts or glaucoma. They’ll also check for symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, an effect of developing diabetes.
Always take your contact lenses off to go to sleep
You may never intend to fall asleep in your lenses, but sometimes sleep can creep up on you unexpectedly! In a survey we took in 2017, we found that 70% of our sample had fallen asleep wearing their contact lenses. Unless you’re wearing extended wear lenses (that can be slept in), you do need to take them out before you sleep.
During sleep, our eyelids provide moisture to our eyes to clean away any bacteria that has accumulated during the day. Wearing lenses while you’re asleep prevents this moisture from reaching your eyes, resulting in dry and uncomfortable eyes in the morning as well as putting you at risk of developing an eye infection.
Whenever you’re settling down for the evening, whether it’s at the start of a quiet night in or after a big night out, try to take your contact lenses off as soon as you get in. This will lower the risk of falling asleep with your lenses on and give your eyes more of a rest any way, which will only contribute to keeping your eyes feeling healthy.
Reduce your screen time
With phones, tablets and laptops playing an ever-increasing role in our daily lives, we’re yet to fully understand the effects on our eyesight. Reducing the amount of time spent using a screen in 2018 will give your eyes a break and help you to avoid eye strain that leads to dry or uncomfortable feelings.
It will also help you sleep better, as using a screen late in the evening can mean it’s harder for your body to relax before drifting off. A longer sleep will help your eyes to rest and recuperate so you can start the next day feeling fresh.
Take one day off from contact lenses each week
While contact lenses are comfier and more durable than ever before, there’s still a small amount of extra effort required by your eyes while you wear them. So, if wearing lenses is a daily necessity for you then this might be a little trickier to do, but taking one day off each week will help your eyes feel more rested.
If you’ve got a day in the week where you’re spending most time at home, or aren’t super busy, then this is a great day to have as your rest day. Taking this break will mean that wearing your lenses will be even more comfortable when you’re wearing them normally and helps to ensure your eyes get a good amount of oxygen.
When there’s lots going on, it might not be convenient for you to take a whole day off from your lenses that week. In that case, you could just reduce the amount of time you’re wearing your contact lenses each day to help your eyes get the rest that they deserve.
Only clean your contact lenses with solution
It’s super important to care for your lenses in the most hygienic way possible. That means not using anything other than the appropriate solution when you’re cleaning and/or storing contact lenses.
This goes for any soft lens, even if you just need to pop your dailies out for a quick rinse, you should only ever use multipurpose solution. This solution is designed to sterilise soft contact lenses and is specially formulated for storing monthly lenses in overnight. This helps them to retain their shape so they’re comfortable to wear.
We found in our survey last year that 23% of our sample had used water to disinfect their lenses rather than solution. Water, saliva or any other cleaning fluids are not suitable for contact lenses and using them can put you at risk of an eye infection. If you’re running out of solution, fear not as our everclear multipurpose solution can be ordered for next day UK delivery!
There’s more you can do to keep your eyes feeling comfortable and healthy. The right diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables and fish (if you eat it) helps to fight off dry eyes and infections, while drinking plenty of water will also keep them hydrated and irritation free.
More on caring for your eyes