Protecting your vision is a key part in leading a healthy life. Make sure to wear protective eyewear while on- and off-duty. Prioritizing eye health is important regardless of if you are running errands on a sunny day or in the field on a mission. Check out these tips to stay on top of your eye health:

1

Get routine check-ups

Active-duty service members are required to complete an eye exam every year. Annual check-ups help you stay on top of your eye health and catch any injuries or complications early.

2

Wear protective eyewear

No matter the season, the sun’s rays can damage your eyes. Protecting your eyes from the sun, as well as from any environmental conditions during training or operations is essential. Check out the (DOD) approved Authorized Protective Eyewear List to select the best.

3

Limit use of technology

Many screens contain blue light, which keeps you alert and can affect the sleep-wake cycle. Limiting device use around bedtime can help protect your eyes and improve your sleep. Excessive use can also strain your eyes and lead to poor eye health over time.

4

Get plenty of rest

Sleep helps the body repair and rejuvenate. Prolonged lack of sleep can lead to eye twitching, infection and conditions like glaucoma. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep in a 24-hour period is essential to all your body’s functions, including healthy eyes.

5

Stay hydrated

Just like sleep, staying hydrated is essential to leading a healthy life. Drinking plenty of water helps reduce dehydration, which affects every part of your body. Make sure to drink water throughout the day to stay healthy and prevent conditions such as dry eye.

6

Eat balanced and colorful meals

Getting enough nutrients in your eating plan is key to keeping your body’s systems functioning properly. Fueling your body with enough vitamins and minerals (e.g., micronutrients like Omega 3s and Vitamin A) helps your eyes stay healthy and strong. Make sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and protein throughout the day to support your vision.

Looking Forward

Use these tips to prioritize your eye health. If you notice any change in vision or experience an injury that has affected your eyes, talk to your health care provider.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 988 and press 1, or Text 838255. You can also call 911.