Which of These Describes You most?
I often hear patients say, “I only have one set of eyes, doc, so I want to take care of them.” Sadly, people who are living a poor visual lifestyle say it too. Could that be you?
My wife, Dr. Liz, recently saw a patient who gets dangerous eye infections. When she explained what to do, the patient refused. Worse, when she explained what not to do, the patient replied, “Well doc, sometimes I just have to.”
So the patient ignored her doctor’s advice, and said she would keep doing what was harming her eyes and making her infections worse. Surprising? Yes, but not unusual.
What About You?
You may not be refusing your doctor’s advice or carelessly doing things that could be harmful to your eyes.
Or are you?
I’ve seen thousands of patients in over two decades of eye care. Many of them think they’re doing fine when they’re not caring for their eyes well at all.
Before you think that isn’t you, check out this list. Here are four ways you may be harming your eyes without knowing it:
You’re not protecting them. I am astonished at how few people protect their eyes. Fear of blindness is one of our top health fears, yet there are ways to prevent vision loss. Here are some great ways to protect your eyes:
- Sunwear: The sun’s damaging UV rays can cause cataracts and macular degeneration. Make sure you use sunwear with 100% UV protection. Before you say you don’t like sunglasses, ask yourself how much you value your vision.
- Blue light protection: How many hours do you spend staring at a screen? Our devices emit blue light, which is similar to UV light. It’s an easy fix – use eyewear that will block blue light from screens.
- Safety glasses: The worst eye injuries I have ever seen happened to people who were not wearing safety glasses. Wear safety eyewear whenever you’re doing anything that could harm your eyes.
You’re smoking. If you smoke, you must stop. Smoking is extremely dangerous to your eye health (it’s the number one risk factor for macular degeneration). If you need help quitting, consult your doctor. Whatever it takes, it will be worth it.
You’re not controlling your health. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other diseases have real effects on your eye health and vision. Many people think their eyes work separately from their overall health. The opposite is true. Your eyes are only as healthy as you are, even if you think you see well.
You’re not listening to your doctor. Like Dr. Liz’s patient, there are people who seek eye care and then refuse to listen. While baffling, I think I know the reason – they don’t like the answer. Many patients who refuse to listen to real solutions simply don’t want to change their habits – they want the magic pill instead.
It’s Good Information to Know
Review the list above. If you have time, click the links – they’ll connect you to articles with more information. Ask yourself you’re committing one or more of these errors. If so, take steps today to change.
Living the visual lifestyle is simple, but it isn’t necessarily easy. But the effort you make today will be worth it. You’re giving yourself the best chance of having a lifetime of comfortable, clear vision and healthy eyes.
Question: Be honest – which item in the list above describes you? Tell me in the comments below.
P.S. Don’t miss my next post – I’ll reveal more ways you may be risking your vision without knowing it.