Follow these tips to keep eyes healthy in Minnesota wintersWhen you overuse your muscles, they get sore, and when you overwork your eyes, they get dry and tired. Dry and tired eyes aren’t much help when driving home on a dark Minnesota night after a long day at the computer.
Editor's note: The following information was provided by the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology.
When you overuse your muscles, they get sore, and when you overwork your eyes, they get dry and tired. Dry and tired eyes aren’t much help when driving home on a dark Minnesota night after a long day at the computer.
Minnesota Eye MDs (ophthalmologists) know what causes tired eyes and have suggestions about what can help. After all, it’s important to have fresh eyes for those dark winter drives.
When we’re using our eyes intently for long periods of time, whether that’s staring at a computer screen, reading, writing, or other ‘near work,’ we blink only about half as often as we would otherwise. (Humans normally blink 18 times a minute.)
With a few good habits, we can reduce eye strain:
Sit about 25 inches from the computer screen and position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
Reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly; use a screen filter if needed.
Post a note that says “Blink!” on the computer as a reminder.
Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds: the “20-20-20” rule.
Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
Take regular breaks.
Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water to tired, dry eyes (with eyes closed).
Use tired or sore eyes as a signal that it’s time to stop working and get some rest or sleep.
Overuse may be more complicated if you wear contact lenses. Avoid eye irritation, swelling, infection and vision problems with these tips:
Give your eyes a break: wear your glasses!
Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, even if they are labeled “extended wear.”
Always use good cleaning practices.
Stop wearing your contact lenses and see an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) right away if you develop any of these problems: eyes that are red, blurry, watery, sensitive to light, or sore; eye swelling or discharge.
Good eyesight is important year round, but it’s especially important on dark Minnesota nights!
The Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology invites Minnesotans to visit www.MNEyeMD.org for accurate eye health and eye disease information.