No, Seriously, My Vision Genuinely Got Better
I know this sounds like clickbait, but I really have regained some of my sight! Last year, for World Sight Day 2017, I wrote what I humbly consider to be one of my BEST and most personal posts. The majority of the feedback was “OMFG WHAT ARE YOUR EYESIGHT TIPS”, and so, I’ve compiled a few and here we are!
Now, I want to state that this is a combination of advice from my optician and general tips from around the internet/my parents. I can’t promise that these will work on everyone, but they have worked for me. If you have similar sight and/or eye issues as me then you might well find them beneficial! (For an in-depth chat about my vision, then have a read of my last post; otherwise just know I’m short-sighted).
How To Use These Tips
I do everything on this list, all the time, and though my original aim was to stop my eyesight decreasing, it did actually reverse and I gained back a bit of my sight. I’m scared AF of losing my eyesight. I prioritise my eyecare above pretty much anything else; if I needed both a haircut and an eye test, I’m gonna be in that optician’s chair before you can say “split ends”. The way I see it is that hair, skin, nails, even muscles and bones are replaceable. Most of your body either grows back continuously, self-repairs or just generally sort themselves itself. Eyes don’t: you just get that one pair you’ve got right now. If I mess up my hair, I can cut it off and start again. If I lose my vision, I’m fucked.
So, I do all of the things on this list, and for the most part, these are life changes I’ve made, rather than habits I adopted. I also want to say there are a lot of expensive eye bath and eye treatments and what-not you can do, but none of that gets mentioned here because OMG expensive! Heads up: a lot of these are phone and computer related, so if you’re not down to change up your on-screen life it might be harder to heal your eyes. Let’s get into it!
Increase Your Views
This, without doubt, is the most talked about thing on my list. I only have to pick my phone up and somebody goes “alright, Grandma?”. My font size is MASSIVE. Thing is, I realised that the default phone font size is 7, and I would NEVER read a document in size 7 font because it’s ridiculously small. It’s relative on a phone screen, but it’s still the same size. I upped my phone font size and noticed a difference literally within days.
You can do this in “Accessibility”, then “Larger Text”. Yes, messages do sometimes turn into huge multipage essays, but the main thing is I GAINED BACK SIGHT AND YOU CAN TOO. I’m not squinting at my phone or bringing my screen closer to my eyes all the time. The fonts on my computer have also been adjusted and my default Document view is much more zoomed in than the given default. You don’t have to go as large as me, but bigger is definitely better. (Winky tongue out emoji)
Cut Back On Coffee
Nicked this from my mum who had some severe, pensioner-type eye issues when she was in her mere fifties. (Not going into more details than that because it’s her business). Anyway, during recovery, she did everything by the book, followed every bit of advice, recovered almost completely and they couldn’t get back the last few stats to what they should be.
Eventually, she cut out coffee just as an experiment and the stats dropped straight back to normal! There’s only a handful of studies linking coffee to eye pressure, but it worked for her. She’s now basically off coffee and sticks to tea when meeting with pals. I haven’t quite got that same discipline, but I have tried to cut down to 3 coffees per week, rather than 3 a day. I definitely now see coffee as a luxury rather than an essential part of functioning, and I’m hoping to keep reducing (my Mum’s condition is hereditary so I’m taking no chances). 😳
Screens + Light
Another screen one. It’s super bad for your eyes to process what’s on a screen if that screen is also the only source of light. What that means is: using your computer in a room with a window and a light on = good. Using your computer in the middle of the night with no other lights on = bad. Same with phones, iPads, and all other screen based gadgets. TURN ON THE LIGHT.
Leave It On RED
You’ve heard about blue light, right? If not, picture a Himalayan salt lamp compared to a UV strip light. One is blue light, and one is not. Blue light is the default for pretty much all screens because it gives us brighter colour and makes our “whites look white” Daz-style. Problem is, blue light is harsher on the cones in our eyes. If you think back to early humans who relied on sunlight and naked flames, avoiding blue light wasn’t really a thing.
Flash forward to 89AD when the first neon sign was invented (…prob) and we’ve all been suffering myopia and headaches since then. Get round this by installing a blue light filter on your screen (I use f.lux on my laptop, which is free and which you can set to increase at different times of day), or using Night Shift on Apple devices or installing a similar red light app. I have mine on generally the entire time and just take it off briefly to edit photos. It does make everything a bit sepia, but unless I’m watching a film or editing photos I don’t notice it.
Know Your Contacts
First of all: correct contact lens use for pretty much all lenses involves not sleeping, swimming or showering in your contacts; cleaning them daily; not wearing them for more than 8 hours a day. LOL I KNOW RIGHT WHO DOES THAT. I definitely didn’t stick to those for my first few years of contact wearing! I also used to do a cheeky double dip either disposable lenses (leave them in saline solution over night and use them for two days instead of one), but after reading into this more and learning more about bacteria, I don’t. It’s just not worth it and I want to be kind to my eyes.
I used to a hardcore contact user because I didn’t like the way I looked in my glasses. So my tips here are: swap out to glasses in evenings, and only put contacts in when you need to. If you’re waking up at 8, put the house from 1pm-7pm, then going to bed at 1am, having contacts in just for being out the house is SO MUCH BETTER for your eyes than having contacts for that whole time. P.S. I have heard about magic semi-disposable contacts which are indestructible but they seem to cost a batshit amount so I’m sticking with my cheapo disposables for now (except crucially, correctly used disposables).
Get Used to Glasses
Following on from that: I know a massive issue is people hate the way they look in glasses, and it’s psychological and cosmetic (or, it was for me at least). I. Was. STUNNED at the number of people who commented on my last post saying they felt similarly, most of whom I literally have never seen in glasses. We’re talking girls I’ve been online friends with FOR YEARS, blogs I’ve followed for ages, suddenly telling me how short-sighted they are and that they hate their glasses so much they’ve literally never been snapped in their specs. Clearly, we’ve all got similar insecurities, and there’s also a lack of spectacled representation.
This was a bit of a thing for me to overcome as you know. If you really hate your glasses that much then maybe consider saving up for a new pair? I’m not telling you how to spend your cash, but seeing glasses as an investment into my sight (again, one of the five senses and something I’ll need forever), rather than an accessory I resent and look crap in, really helped with that mental shift. Plus, I actually think I look cute in glasses now, so there’s that. Another suggestion is maybe to crack out a Pinterest board of glasses wearers: here’s mine! For my part, since the last post I’ve tried to show myself in glasses at least a few times a week; if not on this blog then on social media. Glasses are a huge privilege, and I’d like to wear mine with pride that I have access to them, rather than shame over my shitty vision.
I’m just reeeeally having a lot of fun with these subtitles. Keep your eyes hydrated! I used to think this was a load of bollocks until my optician was like “Your eyes are dry AF mate”. Apparently, most people get a gritty feeling when their eyes are a bit dry. I don’t! If you can’t tell when your eyes are dry (and especially if, like me, you don’t think they ever get dry) then that is all the more reason to start hydrating them!
You can use a few things: buy medicated eye drops; use a specialist gel; use a spray that goes on your eyelid. The last option is the most friendly for squeamish people as you spray directly onto your eyelid and it magically absorbs onwards. However, the bottles are tiny and hella expensive. I use Clinitas gel now which I nick, in bulk, from my Dads supply (also expensive). The main thing is that you get specialist or medicated hydration aids and NOT just over the counter anti-redness ones. These can actually dry your eyes out and cause irritation. Ask your optician for advice.
Get An Optician
Oh, what’s that, you don’t have an optician? Get one! This isn’t linked to actually regaining your vision, but if you’re not going for an eye test every now and then, then how will you know? I go about once every 18 months, but during my teens when my eyesight was really on the DL it was about every six months. Knowledge is power, guys. Knowledge. Is. Power.
Turn your brightness down! Honestly, screen devices give off so much harsh light it’s no wonder we are all getting headaches all the time. TURN THE BRIGHTNESS DOWN. Harsh white light is not good. I go a bit extreme with this; when my eyes are tired I’ll invert the colours AND use greyscale so my phone is black with white text.
You can also use night mode on apps like Twitter which basically flips the default colours to black with white text. This point is different to the red/blue light point, because here I’m talking about the actual brightness of the screen and how much light is given off. Again, like the Night Shift, I have brightness on super low basically the whole time and just turn it up for editing photos.
Really Feel Yourself
I imagine that if most of us went to the gym, benched 20kg for half an hour and then went home, we would feel that strain. We would REALLY be aware of it. If we just carried around a 20kg weight the whole time though, we’d get used to it. Our eyes are basically carrying around the 20kg weight constantly. (Ooh metaphor guys). The thing with eyes is that we are using them constantly. It’s hard to tell when our eyes are stressed out because there’s no “off time” for us to reflect.
So, if/when making these changes, try and be aware of any differences. I noticed a difference when I first changed my font size on my phone which led me to change my font and zoom level on everything else. Over the years, I’ve become a lot better at “listening” (hate that word in this context) to what my eyes need and learning to rest them and look at different things. But it definitely wasn’t something that naturally occurred.
So there you go! Just a few of my top tips to improve your eyesight and general eye health. If you gained anything from this post, then give us a share or a pin, won’t you? I also want to quickly say that you are 500% more likely to go blind in a developing country, and it is an intersectional issue that affects women more. 80% of blindness in developing countries is preventable and £4 can restore sight to a child with cataracts. That is a blind or very poorly-sighted child who will literally be able to see again thanks to your £4!
This is NOT a sponsored post in any way: I just was genuinely shocked at these stats when researching for my last post and I’d like to bring your attention to those same facts again. You can give somebody an entire lifetime of vision for the price of a pint!! Anyway. Let me know how these tips go for you. What are your tips for looking after your sight? Always looking for more!
This is the first of a new series I’ll be doing: How To Tuesday. On the second Tuesday of every month, I’ll be sharing a new How To guide. Next month: How To Make Friends!