Lifeguards Guide to Maintaining Healthy Eyes

Healthy eyes aren’t just important for your annual visit to the optometrist. Your eyesight accounts for 80% of what you perceive of the world. As a lifeguard, you use your eyes all day, every day. You’re spotting drowning victims, monitoring swimmers, looking for anything fishy (pun intended), keeping an eye out for storms, and so much more. See how you can keep your eyes healthy.

1. Get regular exams.

This one’s a big one. It’s important to see any doctor on a yearly basis, and the same goes for seeing the eye doctor. Most insurance plans cover your yearly eye exam, so it’s just a matter of getting it scheduled and showing up. This is how you prevent eye infections or glaucomas and catch any conditions before they get too serious.

2. Eat foods high in Vitamin A, Omega-3, and Vitamin C.

Have you ever been told to eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyes? There’s a reason for that. Carrots are high in Vitamin A, which prevents dry eyes and can help combat vision loss and corneal scarring. Omega-3s keep your retina healthy and Vitamin C helps prevent cataracts — so foods like kale, salmon, bell peppers and oysters are all part of a healthy diet for the eyes.

3. Keep your eyes protected from the sun.

For lifeguards, this one is a big one. If you work outside, you’re in the sun all the time. That means the sun is beating down on your eyes (especially bad with a high UV index) and you’re probably squinting your eyes to see more clearly. Make sure you invest in a good pair of sunglasses that block the UV waves.

4. Limit screen time.

We’re all guilty of looking at our screens throughout the day, but don’t forget to give your eyes a rest. Pick up a book or try a crossword puzzle instead of scrolling on social media. Some people try the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break to look at something for 20 seconds that is 20 feet away. If you’re not able to swing that, consider buying a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses.

The next time you show up for your yearly eye exam, your doctor will be impressed. When it comes to the health of your eyes (or anything, for that matter), it’s all about staying on top of it and preventing conditions before they escalate. Lifeguards need to have healthy eyes with updated prescriptions, so book your eye exam for the year if you haven’t already!

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