Easy Ways You Can Safeguard Your Sight

Every year, thousands of Americans injure their eyes or damage their vision. Follow these guidelines to help protect yourself and your family.

Everyday eye care precautions

These suggestions will help protect your eyes while following your daily routine:

  • Wear plastic safety goggles when working with household cleaning products, weed killers, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Also wear them when using power tools like electric drills, saws, sanders, lawn mowers, and other yard equipment. Keep these items out of children's reach.

  • Keep tools in good repair.

  • Wear one-piece plastic sports frames with polycarbonate lenses when playing softball, racquetball, handball, badminton, basketball, volleyball, soccer, or other similar sports.

  • Wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation whenever you spend time outdoors. Gray, green, and brown lenses provide the most protection.

  • Wear wraparound frames when spending a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight.

Children's eye care

These are some safety steps to think about when dealing with children:

  • Have children wear safety glasses when they're playing with chemistry sets, workshop tools, or toys that fire projectiles.

  • Don't let children run with sharp objects.

  • Have children wear the correct goggles when skiing, snowboarding, and riding on snowmobiles. They should wear helmets with face guards when playing football, ice hockey, roller hockey, and other high-impact sports.

  • Keep children away from fireworks, firecrackers, and other flammable materials.

  • Keep children away from activities like snow blowing, mowing, working with power tools or hand tools, using cleaning agents, and applying fertilizer or weed killer. Keep them away when you're doing other work that can be dangerous to eyes.

  • In an age-appropriate way, teach your children eye safety by explaining why the above behaviors are important. Role-model safe eye care for your child. You can do this by following safety guidelines and wearing protective eye gear. 

Contact lens care

If you wear contact lenses, here are some issues to consider:

  • Follow lens care and wearing instructions carefully.

  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling lenses.

  • Clean and disinfect your lenses' carrying case often. Buy a new case every 6 months.

  • Don't put contact lenses in your mouth or dampen them with saliva.

  • Don't clean them with tap water or place tap water on the lenses or in your lens case.

  • Don't use homemade saline solutions.

  • See your eye care provider if you experience pain with use or any change in your vision.

  • Don't sleep with contact lenses. The only time to do this is when the lenses are specifically designed for constant wear. Sleeping with them in your eyes can increase your chance of an infection by approximately 10 times.

  • Put on soft contact lenses before applying makeup.

  • Put on rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses after applying makeup.

  • Don't use lash-extending mascara. Its fibers can irritate the eyes. Replace mascara at least every 3 months. 

  • Remove lenses before removing makeup.

  • Use hairspray before putting on your contacts. If you use hairspray while wearing your contacts, close your eyes as you spray. Keep them closed for 3 to 5 seconds after you're done.

Computer use and eye care

It's important to think about your eyes when working on the computer:

  • Take rest breaks every 15 minutes or so. Look up and focus on a distant object for 2 minutes during each rest break.

  • Place the screen at a right angle to any windows to reduce glare. Use a filter that reduces glare or a computer hood with 3 sides if glare continues to be a problem.

  • Adjust the screen angle to reduce reflections from overhead lights and desk lamps.

  • Keep the screen brightness the same or brighter than the brightness of other objects in the room.

  • Use an adjustable holder for documents. Adjust the holder so that reference material is at the same height and distance from you as the computer screen.

  • Wipe the screen often with an antistatic cloth.

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Whitney Seltman MD
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.