I just had my annual eye appointment. My last one was two years ago, thanks 2020. I guess it can’t be called an “annual” appointment anymore then. I have been a little worried about my eye health and that of my kids. I stare at a screen all day. I work on the computer, I have meetings on the computer, and I attend classes on the computer. I added it up. I’m on a screen sometimes 9 hours a day. That’s pretty incredible if you really think about it.
So, what have I done to help myself? I asked my optometrist for some tips and two of the biggest were to take “eye breaks” and look into bluelight glasses to help me sleep. Let’s talk about this a little more.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Then continue on with your day…I mean, continue on with the next 20 minutes. Eye breaks really do work for me to ease the eye strain. I usually take longer breaks than 20 seconds, because I know I need it.
This is in interesting one. Bluelight is everywhere, it’s in sunlight and also in the devices we watch everyday. Some research indicates that bluelight interferes with circadian rhythms. That makes sense – typically we get tired when it’s dark, not when the sun is shining. Filtering bluelight hasn’t been studied extensively and there are plenty of studies that are inconclusive in whether or not it decreases eye strain. A recent 2020 study, however, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that bluelight filtering glasses did help improve sleep in those who wore the glasses.
I received these glasses from Pixel to see if bluelight filtering could help me. They are lightweight and clear. Check them out here: Thera in Champagne Crystal. So far, I’m in love. Don’t go for cheap bluelight filtering glasses, trust me on this one.
This couldn’t be a post from me if I didn’t touch on nutrition for eye health. Your nutrition and what you choose to put in your body has a huge impact on the health of your eyes. The biggest amount of research surrounding nutrients beneficial for eye health center around antioxidants, specifically carotenoids. Carotenoids are a class of nutrients that encompass beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Other antioxidants that may benefit the health of the eye include foods containing vitamin C.
Foods high in carotenoids
- Bell Pepper
- Sweet Potatoes
- Whole eggs
- Romaine lettuce
Eat something from that list several times a week to get carotenoids in your diet and keep your eyes healthy.
Eisenhauer, B., Natoli, S., Liew, G., & Flood, V. M. (2017). Lutein and Zeaxanthin-Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection. Nutrients, 9(2), 120. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9020120
Guarana CL, Barnes CM, Ong WJ. The effects of blue-light filtration on sleep and work outcomes. J Appl Psychol. 2020 Jul 13. doi: 10.1037/apl0000806. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32658494.