General Eye Care

Eye Drops

Your ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops to treat certain eye conditions, infections or diseases. Before you use any eye drops, be sure to tell your ophthalmologist about any other prescription or nonprescription medications that you are taking or any allergies you may have.

Applying Eye Medications

Always wash your hands before applying eye medication. Open the bottle or tube and be careful that the tip does not touch anything. Pull your lower eyelid down with the tip of your finger and look up or into a mirror. Squeeze one drop or a quarter-inch ribbon of ointment into the pink part of the bottom, inner lid, trying not to touch the tip of the bottle or tube to the eyelid. Close your eye gently to allow the medication to absorb. If you can taste the medication going down your throat, next time you instill your eye drops, keep the eye shut for 1 minute then blot the excess with a tissue. This will help ensure that the medication does not leave the eye. Please contact your eye doctor if you are experiencing any side effects from your eye medications.

Diet

Your eyes, just like any other organ, require plenty of nutrients and minerals to function well. Vitamins A, C, E, as well as beta-carotene, zinc, and antioxidants such as omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important for proper eye health. A diet lacking these nutrients can contribute strongly to diseases such as macular degeneration and dry eyes.

Safetywear

Whether it's playing sports, working with power tools, doing yard work, or household chores, it’s important to remember to protect your eyes. Countless preventable eye injuries occur each year due to a lack of protection. Remember that eyeglasses are not an adequate guard against debris and chemicals – use proper safety glasses, safety goggles or face shields.

Ultraviolet Exposure

We have been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays since childhood.  And it's the chronic exposure over decades that can lead to eye disease. UV light is a known risk factor, among many others, for the progression of cataracts and macular degeneration. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone take protective measures against UV exposure. Whenever you are outdoors, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are both easy and inexpensive ways to help reduce your exposure to UV rays.

Eyestrain

Straining your eyes (which is actually a condition of stressing the muscles around the eyes) cannot do any permanent harm, but it is still uncomfortable and can lead to redness, watery eyes, blurry vision, and even headaches. The best remedy for eyestrain is simply to give your eyes a rest. You can also avoid eyestrain by increasing your reading light, wearing your prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, and blinking regularly.