When you head off to college, you aren't just embarking on your education career, you're also likely responsible for yourself for the first time in your life. You have to take care of your own meals, do your own laundry, and see to your own appointments, including seeing an optometrist at least once a year.
Optometry is one of the most important areas of health care since proper vision care is essential to your overall health. Here are a few things you should be mindful of for your eye health as a college student:
Avoid Eye Strain
You'll likely be burning the midnight oil often while you study for exams and finish big projects and papers. Just remember to give your eyes a break. All that staring at a computer screen can cause damage and fatigue. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you look at something about 20 feet away -- like that cute girl or guy across the library.
Don't Share Cosmetics
You might be used to sharing everything with your dorm mate, but it’s best not to share cosmetics. Mascara, eye liner, shadow and other cosmetics can spread bacteria into your eye, which could lead to long-term damage.
Take Out Your Contact Lenses
If you wear your contacts in the shower or while swimming, bacteria in the water can get into your eye, causing serious damage. Wearing your contacts overnight can also cause long-term damage.
Protect Your Eyes
If you are involved in college sports -- or you just like going to games -- make sure you wear the right protective eye wear. A ball, stick or elbow to the eye can cause injury that can threaten your eyesight.
Beware of Pink Eye
Pink eye isn't something you're immune to as an adult. It is a highly contagious infection that can not only be very uncomfortable but can also cause long-term complications. Practice regular hand washing and steer clear of those that have it.
Find an optometrist in your area using our Locate A Doc feature or visit our resources section for additional eye-care information.