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Eye Care

Daily eye care is important to keep your eyes healthy. Proper hygiene and preventive eye care will help you avoid problems like eyestrain, irritations, infection, and injuries.

How do I avoid eyestrain?

Some children and adults need glasses to avoid eyestrain when reading or doing close-up work. Some people with dry eyes feel discomfort or strain when they read, drive, watch TV, or look at a computer screen because they blink less during these activities. Glasses, contact lenses, lubricating eyedrops, medicines, or surgery may help with these symptoms.

How do I keep my eyes free from irritations and infections?

  • Wash your face regularly to keep the area around the eyes clean.
  • Remove all eye makeup before going to bed.
  • Do not use test makeup at cosmetic displays.
  • Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands. Wash your hands regularly, especially after going to the bathroom, coughing into your hands, or blowing your nose. It is also important to wash your hands after handling food such as raw chicken or raw meat. And wash your hands after taking care of someone who is ill.

How can I help prevent eye injuries?

To protect your eyes you can:

  • Wear sunglasses that give 100% UVA and UVB protection from ultraviolet rays when you are in the sun or using a sunlamp.
  • Get shatterproof lens in your regular glasses.
  • Wear safety glasses when you work with tools, machinery, chemicals, or bungee cords.
  • Avoid scratching your eye with cosmetic applicators and brushes.
  • Shield your eyes when you use aerosol sprays.
  • Wear proper sports eye guards and face masks when you play sports or participate in activities such as paintball.
  • Avoid giving toys that shoot or fly to young children. Do not let children use fireworks without close adult supervision.
  • Keep kitchen utensils, desk supplies, and personal-use items out of the reach of children.

Prompt medical care of an eye injury may prevent loss of sight.

When should I see my eye care provider?

See your eye care provider if you are concerned about your vision. Regular eye exams and vision tests are important. They help correct vision problems and can detect eye disease early. Even if you do not have any eye problems you should have eye exams regularly. If you don’t have symptoms, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have an eye exam according to the following schedule:

  • Any child who fails a school vision screening test
  • Ages 20 to 29: at least once during this time
  • Ages 30 to 39: at least twice during this time
  • Ages 40 to 64: every 2 to 4 years
  • Age 65 or older: every 1 to 2 years

Your eye care provider may recommend a different schedule if you have certain eye problems, diabetes, or risk factors for glaucoma.

See your eye care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • complete or partial loss of vision
  • flashes of light or floating spots or lines in your vision
  • new eye pain or sensitivity to light
  • pain when moving the eyes
  • double vision
  • halos around light
  • a pupil that has an irregular shape or is a different size than the other pupil
  • severe redness, itching, burning, or tearing
  • thick greenish or white discharge from the eye
  • blurred vision that lasts more then a few minutes
  • injury to your eye from burns, chemical exposure, or a foreign body in the eye
Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site:
Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-05-23
Last reviewed: 2010-10-18
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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