Improving the health of people’s eyes is one of the core goals of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, as well as personal mission of our founder, Tej Kohli. Robotics and disruptive new technologies are just one element of his work – he is also still committed to his mission of reducing cases of corneal blindness by half by the year 2030. However, each of us has a role to play in looking after our own eye health, often with the simplest and easiest of steps.
Here are the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute’s top tips and advice on looking after your eyes – and making 2018 a healthy eye year.
Avoid Touching Your Eyes (Especially with Dirty Hands)
One of the most common causes of eye infections is rubbing or touching our eyes, and the irritation and contamination that results from it.
Most of us don’t realise just how often we place our hands in close proximity to our eyes, but consider how many times during an average day you rub your eyes in tiredness or try and brush a piece of grit out. The problem is made worse if your hands have accumulated dirt and germs, which is why washing them regularly is particularly important. However, it is generally a good idea to keep your hands away from your eyes as much as possible, no matter how well-scrubbed they are.
Wear Sunglasses in Bright Weather
Before spring gets underway and the sun begins creeping higher and higher into the sky again, it’s a good idea to get that new pair of sunglasses you kept meaning to buy last summer. UV radiation has a damaging effect on our eyes, similar to the toll it takes on our unprotected skin. Over time, this damage can accumulate, leading to a range of conditions including cataracts and cornea burns. And remember that the sun doesn’t have to be blazing for your eyes to be at risk – overcast days still see plenty of UV radiation rays reflecting off the clouds.
Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
Regular check-ups and eye exams may seem like a bit of a chore, but they can help to identify any emerging problems before they have a chance to take hold. Taking the time to organise them really is worth the minimal effort.
Protect Your Eyes at Work
If your profession involves a level of risk of damage to your eyes, whether it’s from manual labour or chemical irritants, make sure that you are taking this risk as seriously as you possibly can. Wearing the right protective gear at all necessary times may seem like a hassle on a day to day basis, but it could prove instrumental in protecting your eyes – either from a single unexpected incident or from the accumulated effects of damage or exposure to harmful conditions.
Reassess Your Contact Lens Use
We’ve spoken before about the ways in which people are misusing their contact lenses and putting their eyes at risk through insufficient hygiene. Fortunately, we’ve also outlined a number of steps people can take to reconsider the use of contact lenses.
Don’t Spend All Day Glued to Screens
Long periods spent staring at the bright glare of a computer or phone screen can have a seriously damaging effect on our eyes. If your work requires you to sit at a computer for most of the day, try following the 20/20/20 rule – every twenty minutes, look away from the screen and focus on a point 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. This will help to reduce the strain placed on your eyes by the bright screen and allow them to readjust.
Even the most health-conscious among us often neglect to look after our eyes as well as we attend to the rest of our body – but taking these simple, effective measures could really make all the difference when it comes to keeping the health of our eyes secure.