DIY Eye Care
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
DIYs are one of my favorite things to do except the ones that are not 😊. I remember last summer: I was ready for a patio makeover and I had found what to me was the perfect DIY makeover video. There I was all excited and ready to make magic. I started the video-- adrenaline pumping, all sort of ideas floating through my brain cloud. Then it hit me, magic happened!! Suddenly, there was a scared rabbit running into a hat. That lovely rabbit was me! It was harder than I thought, more dauting than I had imagined. I could not do it, all that hardwood, sawing, painting…naaaa. My lazy bone was swollen with inflammation. I called for help!! I felt so proud of myself as I knew when I needed the skills of somebody outside of me.
My plan is for a simple DIY eye care routine and I hope nothing gets inflamed. Let’s get started:
We are going to play a game of hide and seek, but we will be covering one eye at a time instead of two.
1. Target object/chart
2. Eye patch
Sit in a comfortable position and keep your focus on a certain target, like a picture or wall art or writing, something within your visual space or an eye chart. Use an eye patch or a paper cup or tissue paper/napkin or your palm to cover your left eye (wear your glasses, if applicable) while focused on the target. Avoid applying pressure to your eyelid. Take note of your visual clarity, then cover your right eye and do same. What did you observe? Did the vision in both eyes appear the same? Is there a significant difference between both eyes? Amongst other complaints, does this difference include any of these: missing letters, cloudy or hazy patches, wavy lines, double vision, no vision, etc.? Have you noticed this difference before or is it recent? Or do you feel puzzled by this difference?
Badly scratched glasses, dry eyes, old or inadequate spectacle prescriptions, changes in blood sugar level, and other ocular diseases may affect your vision. Visit your eye care doctor if you notice a recent significant change in your vision (blurry vision, vision loss, double vision, visual distortions, etc.).
Our ability to distinguish colors is our color vision. Some eye color deficiencies are genetic, others are caused by diseases like diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and glaucoma amongst others. Color vision deficiency can be challenging and may limit participation in some occupations, but in most cases, it is not a serious threat to vision.
While covering one eye at a time like you did before, look at a group of colors. Make sure you are under bright light. Wear your glasses if applicable. If the colors appear faded/bland or you do not see colors at all but black and white or if you are having trouble deciphering the colors, book an appointment to see your eye doctor.
The eye is supposed to move in the same direction at the same time. This is the function of our extra ocular muscles (EOM). The movement of the two eyes is to ensure that the images on the two retinas fall on corresponding areas of the binocular field. This contributes to our depth of perception. When there is a disfunction, diplopia (double vision), strabismus, etc. results. There are six muscles that work together in each eye to control eye position and movement.
Without covering any eye, move your eyes in specific directions (left, right, up-right, up-left, down-right, and down-left). If you feel pain or strain during any of the movements, take note of the direction and if you notice double vision, make an appointment to see you eye doctor.
Visual field is the total area that can be seen when an eye is fixed at a central point. It is the sum of your peripheral field of view and your central vision. Your central vision permits for finer details and colors in front of you while peripheral vision detects movements coming from your sides. For example, while focused on your favorite television program, you can detect if someone/something is coming from your sides without moving your head or eyes.
A simple way to assess your visual field is to:
1. Stretch your arms out on both sides while standing up. Keep a steady central gaze and begin to wiggle your fingers on both hands. Without moving your head and eyes, you should be able to detect the wiggling motion of your fingers on both hands.
2. Use a grid chart like the Amsler grid to test your peripheral vision. Hold the chart at a comfortable reading distance (generally, about 12-14 inches away). Wear your reading glasses if you normally use them. Cover one eye and focus on the black dot in the middle of the grid. Cover the other eye and repeat the test.
Report to your eye care specialist for missing squares, wavy lines, or other distortions.
You may also check your vision online.
ZEISS Online Vision Screening (visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, color vision)
Essilor Test Your Vision (visual acuity, astigmatism, light sensitivity, near vision, color vision, Amsler grid)
Be compliant with your eye treatment regime. When your eye doctor gives you a treatment course, please stick to your medications as directed and keep your follow-up appointments. You may set alarms or ask to be reminded of your treatment time. Ask questions when in doubt. And request for refills before the last bottle runs out.
Screen time has increased tremendously in recent times. Most people are working or schooling from home now. Our phones, computers, tablets, iPads are our work tools and we spend so much time looking at these screens. Computer vision syndrome, fatigue, dryness etc. may set in. Rest your eyes, take breaks, wear appropriate spectacle prescription glasses if needed, increase font size if it helps, use appropriate lighting.
Go for your routine eye check-ups.
Do your annual physical exam. Some underlying systemic disease may affect your vision.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Sunlight is good for vision, take enjoyable walks.