How to Keep your Eyes Safe and Healthy During Office Closures
With Toronto optometrist offices closed due to Covid-19 and the regulations set out by the World Health Organization, you may be missing out on your routine comprehensive eye exam. Until our office reopens and you have access to a Toronto area optometrist such as ours, it is especially important to take care of your optical health. We have decided to revisit and update some tips for good eye health, to keep your eyes healthy during Covid-19 when you don’t have regular access to check-ups and emergency care.
Most people think of the home as a safe place, but it is where half of eye injuries happen according to the Canadian Association of Optometrists. Read on to learn how to keep your eyes protected and healthy while staying at home.
- Wear Safety Goggles and Eye Protection
Wearing safety goggles can prevent serious eye injury in 90 percent of cases!
You should wear protective eyewear for:
- Home Improvement and Maintainence tasks
With more of us at home, dabbling in home improvement projects, repair, and maintenance, there is an increased chance of eye injury. Eye injury occurs during renovation and lawn care projects through debris and flying equipment (nails can act as projectiles) or chemical splashes that can enter the eyes.
Many of us can’t participate in our usual sports at the moment but are still being active with our kids or playing outside while observing the self-isolation rules. Don’t forget if you have protective eyewear while playing hockey in the street with family such as a helmet with a visor, you should wear it. If you have goggles that you can wear while playing road tennis, or other sports it can protect you from eye injury. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists some of the most common types of eye injuries that happen while playing sports include:
- Home Improvement and Maintainence tasks
- Blunt Trauma– the most common type of eye injury, it occurs when an object hits the eye with blunt force, such as a ball. Some of the injuries caused by blunt trauma include retinal detachment, broken bone around the eye socket, iris injury, and retinal tears.
- Corneal abrasion- can occur when a foreign object comes in contact with the eye surface, such getting poked in the eye, a scratched eyeball, or dust or sand getting into the eye. This type of injury can result in eye redness, blocked tear ducts, infection, or vision impairment. For more on eye safety visit this post.
- Sun Safety
With nowhere to go but outside for a break, many of us are spending more time outdoors, soaking up some Vitamin D, trying to escape the confines of home. It’s important to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, even on cloudy days when the UV index can still be high. UV and sun damage contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Sun Safety
- Avoid Touching Your Eyes
Not rubbing your eyes can protect you from getting germs, and infection. That’s why the WHO recommends avoiding touching your face at all times to eliminate the spread of Covid-19. Try to avoid touching your eyes completely and if you must make sure your hands are washed first. If your eyes are itchy you may be experiencing allergies, which are common this time of year, and often lead to irritation and dry eye. If you have lubricating eyedrops on hand they can help wash out allergens and soothe your eye. Wearing sunglasses while outdoors can block the pollen from entering your eyes, adding a layer of protection. If they are still itchy and you are sure it is from allergies consider taking an over the counter allergy medication. For more on eye allergies visit this post.
- Get in touch with your inner Clark Kent
Superman wore glasses as Clark Kent so if he can do it so can you. If you trying to practise tip #3 it can be difficult if you wear contacts, and need to touch your eyes. Wearing glasses can help avoid this. Another reason to consider temporarily suspending contact lens use is that they can contribute to dry eye and infection when not properly cared for. It may be difficult to go out and get the contact lens solution you normally use. If you are running out of contact lens solution don’t be tempted to use it sparingly to save it. Not washing your contacts properly and daily will only put you at risk for eye infection. Don’t be tempted to make contact lens solution last longer by watering it down. This is dangerous as the water isn’t sterile and can harm your eyes. For more on contact lens safety and water read this post. To avoid these concerns and to avoid touching your eyes as much polish off your glasses.
- Stay Away from the Light
Blue light that is. Or at least take breaks. Many of us are working from home at the moment, and when the workday ends with staying in being the new norm, Netflix bingeing has become a rite of passage. Passing the time with screen-time may keep you entertained but too much exposure to blue light and screens can strain your eyes and contribute to dry eyes and irritation. Take computer breaks when you can. Get up and go for a walk. When you’re finished working, play a boardgame that doesn’t involve a screen. Throughout the day while working follow the 20/20/20 rule as recommended by The Association of Optometrists-look twenty feet away from your screen every twenty minutes for twenty seconds. Don’t forget to blink!
- Make an appointment for an eye exam
When we come out of self-isolation it is important that you have plans to continue with your health care. Be sure to keep checking our website for information on when our offices will reopen so you can book an appointment. Having an appointment in place (we hope to reopen in June 2020 but it maybe later as we will follow guidelines set out by health organizations) for later in the year will ensure you aren’t neglecting your eye care and are able to get the time you desire. (In the event that the offices remain closed under WHO guidelines or if you are feeling unwell, appointments will be cancelled.)
Those are some of our tips for eye health and safety. We hope you are keeping well during this time and look forward to providing you with excellent optical care in the near future.