Caring for Your Eyes
The eyes are two very delicate parts of the body. The eyebrows and eyelashes
help to keep dust and dirt away from the eye. Tears bathe the eyes in clear
liquid washing away dirt and bacteria. Although your eyes have their own
limited protection system, more eye care is needed. To keep eyes healthy
and vision clear, have your eyes checked often by a professional.
The Eye Care Experts
Because the eyes are so delicate, a specialist should handle anything
routine care. A doctor trained to treat eyes is called an ophthalmologist.
He or she is a medical doctor with four years training in eye care. These
doctors treat eye injuries and perform eye surgery as needed.
An optometrist is a person trained to prescribe corrective lenses. They
conduct simple tests, and diagnose and treat some eye diseases. An optician
is a technician who fills prescriptions. They grind and fit lenses, but
do not examine eyes for disease or corrective lenses.
Avoid Eye Strain
- Using your eyes in dim light can cause eyestrain. Good lighting can
make reading and other close work easier.
- Sitting too close to the television (TV) can also cause eyestrain
- Contrary to popular belief, watching TV in a darkened room does not
- Make sure your computer screen is 20 to 28 inches from your eyes and
at a 10-20 degree angle.
- Being exposed to too much sunlight can cause eyestrain and lasting
Over-exposure to the suns ultraviolet light (UV) can cause eye
damage. Research shows too much UV light can cause the cataracts to occur
faster. The easiest way to protect your eyes is to wear the right sunglasses.
When buying sunglasses, look for glasses that offer "100% UV protection."
They do not have to cost much to give this protection. So check the label
on the glasses for this phrase.
What Is Nearsighted?
Myopia or nearsightedness is when you cannot see objects at a distance.
Seeing street signs, words written on movie or TV screens, and school
room chalk or dry erase boards can be a problem with myopia. This eye
problem starts mostly between the ages of eight and twelve. It is almost
always diagnosed before age twenty. Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses
What Is Farsighted?
A person with farsightedness or hyperopia has trouble seeing objects
up close. It
tends to run in families. Reading books and newspapers are a problem.
To correct this problem, glasses are usually prescribed for up close work.
But they are not needed for distance tasks like driving.
Wearing Safety Glasses
Wear safety glasses while at work or play that may cause injury to your
eyes. Teach your children to also wear protective glasses. Protective
shields are also
important during sporting events. Any flying object (baseball, hockey
puck, racquetballs, finger pokes) can cause permanent eye injury. Get
in the habit of
protecting your eyes by wearing safety glasses or goggles.
Prepared by: Drusilla Banks, Extension Educator,
Nutrition and Wellness,
University of Illinois Extension.
Chicago Extension Center.
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