As we approach the summer, now might be a good time for a timely reminder about taking care of yourself.
One of the most neglected parts of ourselves is our eyes. Don’t believe me? Think of how much you require of them each day. You may be the kind of person that thumbs through your phone in a dark room. You subject them to the demands of reading from a small reflective screen many times a day. In the sunlight they have to squint. When you read books, they have to strain to maintain focus for a long time.
It has been demonstrated that the development of bad habits tends to arise from prolonged exposure to education. People who have spent long periods in education tend to neglect their eyes in their quest for knowledge. Unfortunately, being accustomed to bad habits for prolonged periods means that after a while the bad habits become natural and we don’t realise we are doing the wrong thing.
Here’s how you can take care of your eyes:
Remember that when you are out and about, try to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun by wearing sunglasses so that you are never looking at the sun or shiny surfaces,
If you are reading, ensure that your shadow does not fall onto the reading material. This applies whether you are reading indoors or reading outdoors. When your shadow falls onto the book, it means your eyes have to strain to pick up words from the page.
Every now and then, look up to refocus your eyes. Some suggest the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, look up from your work far into the distance at an object 20 feet away (metres if you prefer) for 20 seconds. This breaks the demand on your eyes.
Be conscious of how often you are using your phone and squinting to read from a reflective bright surface.
It may take time to get used to developing new reading habits, but just as playing the piano successfully involves being comfortable with knowing where the notes are through familiarity, these habits will become second nature if you keep practising them.
Your eyes are the only ones you have to last a lifetime. Look after them properly! And if you are out and about along the beach, don’t forget your sunglasses!