Here are some simple measures you can take to guard and soothe your eyes, as well as the delicate skin around them. They include guidelines on using makeup and selection and care of glasses and contact lenses.
Over the long term, sun exposure can damage the eye’s lens, retina, and cornea.
It can also cause cataracts. Wear sunglasses on sunny days, even in winter. A large brimmed hat will further help to protect your eyes (see “Sun Sense” ).
To rest your eyes when reading or studying, occasionally look out a window and focus on distant objects.
Don’t work in a bad light. While it’s a myth that reading in dim light will ruin your vision, you’ll be less likely to get a headache when you work in an adequately lit, glare-free setting.
When working with power tools or dangerous chemicals that might splash, wear goggles with side shields. Put on helmets with face masks before playing hockey and football, and safety glasses before playing racquetball and other high-risk sports.
Be wary of flying objects, such as twigs from a lawnmower or a cork from a champagne bottle.
Tanning booths and sun- lamps can cause irreversible eye damage, including blindness. Anyone getting an artificial tan in this way should be certain to wear opaque goggles. The radiation involved can also cause skin cancer, so it’s best to avoid artificial tanning entirely.
If you have dry eyes, humidify your house and avoid arid environments. Taking these two steps can reduce the need for artificial tears.
THE SURROUNDING SKIN
The fragile skin around the eyes is twice as thin as the skin on the rest of the face. It has fewer oil glands, weaker internal support, and gets the most exercise. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to protect it.
Use a sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) whenever you go outside. Be careful, however, to keep it out of your eyes.
Use a moisturizer-heavy on the eyelid, lighter underneath the eye-night and day. Dry skin wrinkles more quickly and more deeply than moisturized skin. A moisturizer specifically designed for the eye area will provide more antibacterial protection.
Don’t smoke. Smoking cuts down on peripheral blood circulation, dries your skin, makes you squint (thus imprinting crows-feet), and robs your body of vitamin C.
Get enough sleep. The skin around your eyes is so delicate that it responds immediately to fatigue and stress.
Don’t rub your eyes. Rub bing stretches the thin skin around the eyes; this encourages bags to form.
You may be able to reduce chronic puffiness under the eyes by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
Cataract prevention? Studies suggest that people who consume plenty of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, are less likely to have cataracts.
SAFE USE OF EYE MAKEUP
Remember that cosmetics are foreign substances capable of causing eye irritation.
Replace mascara three or four times a year. Through contact with airborne bacteria, the wands can become contaminated and cause infections.
Throw away other types of eye makeup after a year. If your eyes tend to become red or infected, replace these items even more often.
Never use saliva to moisten cosmetics.
Never share eye makeup.
Never apply eye makeup while in a moving vehicle.
Use your ring finger or little finger to apply products; the index finger tends to move the skin rather than the cosmetics.
Pat gels and creams lightly on the skin. Apply only a tiny amount of the product, moving from the outer corner inward.
For eye shadow, use a cotton swab or an applicator. Dispose of cotton swabs after use, and change applicators at least twice year-three times if your eyes are sensitive.
Don’t line the inside of your lower eyelids with pencil-the wax can block glands. Stick to the outside of your lids.
If your eyes are puffy and irritated and you’re not sure why, try this test: Choose a place behind your ear, under your arm, or along your inner arm or thigh. Wet the skin with cool water, then stroke on one of the eye products you use daily. Circle the area with a pencil and check it in 24 hours. If redness develops, you’re allergic. If there’s no reaction, leave it and check again in another 24 hours and, if necessary, after a third full day. If there’s still no reaction, wash and repeat the process with another product.
If you suspect that the culprit is your iridescent eye shadow, there’s a quicker method to test for an allergy:
Dab some of the products just inside your nostrils. If your nose starts running, you’re allergic. (This also works with pearlized powder blusher.)
As you age, your skin becomes drier and gets irritated more easily. You, therefore, may develop an allergy to an eye product that you’ve used comfortably for years.
Wear waterproof mascara only when swimming or attending an event that may bring on tears, such as a wed- ding. Otherwise, stay with water-soluble mascara, which is easier to remove.
Use a gentle eye makeup remover every night, wiping the area, from the outside in, with cotton balls. (Tissues are too harsh for this area.)
Don’t color your eyelashes or eyebrows with permanent or semipermanent dyes. You risk severe eye injury and even blindness.
Make sure that your nail polish is dry before you put makeup on your eyes. Ingredients in the polish can irritate and cause allergic reactions.
You can remove eye makeup with baby oil, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly. Then splash well with water.
How to Adjust to Bifocals or Trifocals
Let your eye doctor know all the tasks you do both and off the job that require clear vision. This information will help in the correct placement of the lens segments.
Make sure that eyeglass frames are always adjusted for your face so that the lenses are properly positioned.
Don’t look down when you walk.
Hold reading material close to your body, and lower your eyes, not your head, so that you are reading out of the lowest part of the lens.
Fold the newspaper in half or quarters and move it, rather than your head, to read comfortably.
Wear the lenses continuously for the first week or two, until you are accustomed to them, even though you may not need them for all situations.
IF YOU WEAR GLASSES
Don’t try on other people’s glasses or let them try on yours. This practice can spread diseases and infections.
Tired of having your bifocals slip down your nose? Bifocal contacts now come in soft lenses, but not everyone can tolerate them and fitting fees are expensive. A much less costly alternative is to fit one eye with a contact lens for near vision and the other with a lens for distance vision, an approach called monovision.
Wearing clear prescription glasses in the sun may make dark circles under your eyes even darker. The clear glass allows sun rays to beat down on your undereye area, where the skin is very thin. The solution to this problem is to get prescription to sun lenses, preferably medium to dark gray, to filter out the rays. The second-best solution is to apply sunscreen to the area making sure not to get it into your eyes.
Pink lenses may help reduce the glare of fluorescent lights in an office.
Can’t find your glasses without your glasses? To keep them on hand, attach an eyeglass case near the place where you normally take off your glasses-taped to your nightstand or tacked to the wall near the sink where you wash your face.
A dark-toned bridge will make a wide nose look narrower.
Frames with light tones in the center that darken at the edges will make close-set eyes appear wider, as will decorations on the outer edges of frames.
Frames should complement your face, not overpower it. Choose frames that are the same width as the widest part of your face or slightly longer than that.
Frames with shapes different from the shape of your face are the most flattering. If your face is square, for example, round or oval frames will look good; if your face is round, those that are square or rectangular will be more attractive.
Basic metal frames look good with all hair and skin tones. Different colors complement different hair and skin tones. Consult the chart below for your best colors.
|Frame|| Blond Hair |
| Brown Hair |
| Red Hair |
| Black Hair |
Virtually every middle-aged person develops presbyopia, an inability to focus on close
objects. Here are some suggestions for those who are holding reading material far- ther and farther away.
First, have an eye examination to rule out cataracts or an underlying disease.
Change your lighting: try reading in an otherwise dimly lit room with a spotlight shining directly on your book.
Buy or borrow large-print books and magazines.
Consider ready-to-wear glasses, available at drugstores and other outlets in most states. To choose the correct pair for you, use the guide mounted on the display case. However, keep in mind your usual work distances when trying the various lenses. If you do word processing, for example, you may need a different pair from those you’ll use for reading.
Choose ready-to-wear glass- es with metal temples so that you can bend them, if need be, to make them fit better. If they have plastic pads in areas that you need to bend, immerse those portions in hot water for five minutes before bending them to keep from cracking the plastic.
For a pretty but practical fashion accessory, buy a lorgnette-a pair of glasses on a wand. (You may find one in an antique shop.) Have your optician put magnifying lenses in the frames.
CAN YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
While most people can wear contacts happily, some shouldn’t wear them or should limit their use.
Diabetics tend to have fragile eye tissue and may be more prone to infections.
People with chronically dry eyes, low-grade eye infections, or eyelid problems should avoid contact.
Those who work in dirty environments or around noxious fumes should not wear contacts while on the job.
Those with allergies have an increased risk of complications-such as lens coating, eye irritation, and conjunctivitis -from wearing contacts.
some drugs-including antihistamines, diuretics, and some antidepressants dehydrate the eyes, which may make wearing contacts comfortable.
SHOPPING FOR SUNGLASSES
Look for lenses that block 99 or 100 percent of ultraviolet rays, or check for a “use category” label.
The best sunglasses are large, curved to fit the face, and snug-fitting, with opaque or ultraviolet-blocking side shields. If you’re going to use the glasses for driving, however, make sure the frames don’t block your peripheral vision.
The color of the lens is significant. Gray lenses provide the least distortion of colors.
Amber lenses may define distant objects better, especially in haze or snow (hence their popularity among skiers); however, they do distort colors-including green traffic lights-so you shouldn’t wear them while driving.
Glasses that properly block light are dark enough that your eye is not clearly visible through the lens. Avoid glass- es that is too dark, however, as they can cut your vision too much and contribute to falls or other mishaps. Ask the clerk if you can step outside for a moment to test the glasses in bright light.
Before you purchase nonprescription sunglasses, check for distortion. Hold them at arm’s length, and, with one eye closed, look through each lens at something with a rectangular pattern, such as a floor tile. Move the glasses slowly toward you and away from you, then up and down. If the lines wiggle, try another pair.
Mirrored lenses reflect light, while traditional dark-colored lenses absorb it. But don’t assume that any dark or mirrored sunglasses will fully protect against ultraviolet radiation. Look for a label that says they will. Also keep in mind that mirror coatings will scratch easily unless they’re scratch-resistant.
Gradient lenses let in varying amounts of visible light while blocking ultraviolet rays evenly.
Single-gradient lenses are darker on top and lighter on the bottom. They’re good for driving because they don’t block out the dashboard, but they let in too much glare when snow or sand is present.
Double-gradient lenses are dark on the top and bottom, light in the middle. They’re good for outdoor activities but not so good for driving.
Polarizing lenses are good for driving because they’re treated to reduce glare.
No matter what the fancy name of the material, no plastic lens is truly unbreakable. Still, plastic is safer than glass because it’s less likely to shatter. It’s also