With the new year underway and plenty of cold weather ahead of us as we take on the remainder of winter, January is a great time to turn inward and consider prioritizing self care practices. There are many aspects of our lives that can benefit from a little self care. Self care for your mental health may involve implementing meditation practices, making time for a decompressing bath, or prioritizing quality time with friends or family. Self care for your physical health may involve taking on a more balanced diet, incorporating a new workout routine, or drinking more water daily. But what does self care look like for your eye health? Your eyes contribute so much to your quality of life, so how can you give back to them and make sure they’re healthy for years to come? Well, we’ve got a few simple ideas on how you can pamper those baby blues.
Take A Break From Contact Lenses
If you’ve read our post on What Happens When You Sleep In Your Contact Lenses, then you know very well that contacts, though convenient and comfortable forms of prescription eyewear, can attract bacteria and limit the flow of oxygen to the eye. This in turn can lead to dry eyes and a higher susceptibility to infection. So give your eyes some fresh air and time to recuperate by sporting your frames for a day or two. Think of your routine “contact break” as an excuse to try out that new Jim Halo design you’ve been eyeing.
Apply A Warm Compress
Your eyelids are equipped with a nifty set of glands called Meibomian glands, which pump oil onto the surface of your eyes, contributing to the lubrication of the eye. As we age, however, these glands generate less oil. This can lead to dry eyes and the development of conditions like blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid that can affect the tear ducts and create crusty residue along the eyelashes. Applying a warm compress to your eyelids can help open up the Meibomian glands and soften any oil that may be clogged in them, giving a jump to your oil production to keep those eyes nice and moist. Plus, it feels great. Simply apply a wash cloth dampened with warm water to your closed eyes and allow to sit for a few moments. Use this pampering technique regularly as either a treatment or a preventative measure.
Wear Your Sunglasses
We all learned as kids never to look directly at the Sun, but protecting your eyes from indirect sunlight can be just as important to your eye health. Prevent eye strain and damage to the cornea from harmful UV rays by getting in the habit of wearing your shades in any bright outdoor setting, even if the Sun isn’t visible. And if you’re just getting around to treating yourself to a pair of sunglasses, we’ve got your back. Check out our varied selection of prescription, clip-on, and customizable shades.
Sleep is a necessity for the human mind and body to replenish itself each night, and that also goes for your eyes. Studies have found that a minimum of five hours of sleep are required for the human eye to properly “recharge”. Among other things, a lack of proper sleep can result in muscle twitches around the eye, dry and itchy eyes, and popped blood vessels within the eye. So make it a point to treat yourself to a full night’s sleep to do your whole body good, your eyes included.
These four self care measures are easy to implement into your daily or weekly routine. But remember, for optimal eye health, these pampering suggestions should be accompanied by regular exams, the proper optical wear, and a healthy diet and exercise. For additional information and inspiration, view some of our other posts on foods and practices that are beneficial to your eye health.