Celebrate the Season, but Take Care of Your Eyes

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The holidays are a great time for getting together with friends and family, but can also take a toll on our health, even our eyes. The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) encourages Canadians to celebrate the season, but take care of their eyes.
Alcohol and Your Eyes

Did you know that alcohol relaxes the eye muscles?  This results in confusing messages from our eyes about how far away things are or even where the horizon is. This is why people who’ve been drinking can have a hard time reaching for things and often end up spilling and stumbling. Now imagine talking contact lenses out in that condition. That’s assuming you even remember to take them out. Cleaning them and putting them away hygienically can be next to impossible when your brain and eyes are not communicating properly.

  • Just in case, make sure your contact lens routine is ready to go and you don’t have to spend time looking around. Better yet, consider getting disposable lenses on nights that you might be at a party.
  • Just in case you decide that you want to get rid of those lenses at some point in the night, make sure you have your glasses. The last thing you want to do is further impair your vision.
  • While celebrating, use caution when opening Champagne bottles. Turn your face away from the Champaign bottle and don’t point it at anyone else either.  Ever notice that the cork is just the right size to fit in your eye socket?  

 
Keep Kids Safe 

Important tips to remember to protect your child’s eyes around the home:

  • Avoid sharp, pointy and projectile type toys such as darts, air and pellet guns, pea shooters and bow and arrows.
  • Educate your children how to walk and play safely with scissors, pencils and other sharp objects
  • Keep dangerous materials and chemicals out of reach of children.  This includes fast acting glues, caustic materials such as toilet and oven cleaners and spray cans.

 
Stay Safe When You Play

Certain sporting activities can also pose a high risk to your eyes.  Each year thousands of eye injuries could be prevented if more people wore appropriate protective eyewear while participating in sporting activities.

  • Always wear eye protection while participating in the following sporting activities:
    • Ball and puck sports such as hockey, lacrosse, racquetball, squash, badminton, tennis, baseball, and basketball.
    • Paintball. 
    • Skiiing/Snowboarding.
  • Don't forget your sunglasses, you need UV protection in the winter too.
  • When enjoying those new phones, tablets, computers and gaming systems, give your eyes a break.
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a 20 second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.

Statement in Senate Recognizing Vision Health Month

On Wednesday May 28, 2015 Senator Wilfred P. Moore (NS) rose in the Senate to extend his congratulations to former Senator Asha Seth and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind for their work in bringing the importance of vision health to public attention. He went on to speak to the activities of the Canadian Association of Optometrists and our work in recognizing individuals and organizations who champion the cause of healthy eyesight. To read the Senator's full statement, please visit…