It’s easy to get carried away when you’re packing for college. We know it’s important to make sure you have your fun pillows and your fancy mugs for your new Keurig, but don’t for-get to make your health a priority.
Our team of expert doctors wants you have the best college experience possible, and that includes great vision for the whole time you’re at school. We know how busy it can get those first few weeks (and how much sleep you won’t be getting), so we’ve put together some eye care advice and packing recommendations to set you up for that all-night studying.
Avoid Digital Eye Strain
You’re probably going to spend a lot of time in front of a screen. You’ll be using a computer to take notes, to participate in lectures, to read your textbook, and to catch up on your fa-vorite shows. Digital eye strain can create a lot of issues for your vision, like making your eyes feel tired and dry. It can even cause blurry vision. Give your eyes a break and follow the 20-20-20 rule.
What to pack: BluTech Lenses. These filter blue light and improve your vision contrast and clarity. In fact, since they filter out light from digital devices, BluTech Lenses can improve the quality of your sleep, too. They also don’t mess with your ability to use your favorite tech de-vices, so that’s a win-win.
Keep Contacts Clean
Make sure to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water before placing your contacts in your eyes.
Our team recommends daily-wear contact lenses, so you don’t have to expose your eyes to a bacteria-ridden case. When you take your contact lenses out at night, make sure to give your eyes a break before you head to bed. You deprive your eyes of oxygen when you keep contacts in. Set them free!
While you’re at it, be sure to keep your contacts away from water, including when you shower, since it can cause irritation and dryness.
We know that with the late-night studying, you’ll be tempted to sleep in your contacts (ouch, talk about dry eye irritation), but make sure you never do. You also shouldn’t share contact solution with roommates. Sharing germs is as much fun as sharing a bedroom, are we right?
What to pack: Extra contact cleaning solution – and hide it, just in case your roommate tries to use it!
Sharing Doesn’t Equal Caring
If you wear makeup, we want you to imagine this: you’re about to head out to a party when you realize you’re out of mascara. A swipe of your roommate’s mascara on each eyelash won’t cause any harm, right?
Wrong. Not to scare you, but you should never, ever share makeup, since viral infections spread quickly. As much as you want to try that new eyeshadow palette your friend ordered, you’re better off sticking to your own makeup collection and replacing it every three months.
What to pack: Your own makeup and makeup remover. You’re probably gonna want to hide this as well.
Whether you’re playing as a signed athlete or joining an intramural team, sports eye safety is a must. Protect your eyes with the right eyewear to avoid eye injuries. After all, sports-related eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in those under the age of 18 in the U.S.
What to pack: Sports safety glasses. Try on a pair today! We have a bunch of different styles, so you don’t need to worry about function over fashion.
Not to scare you or anything, but the decisions you make now will affect you later in life, and we don’t just mean your career choices. Choosing to forego sunglasses now can lead to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, or some eye cancers when you’re older. Don’t risk your vision now or later.
What to pack: Sunglasses with UV-400 protection and polarized lenses to eliminate glares. Whether they’re prescription sunglasses or non-prescription, pack more than one pair; everyone loves options, so you’ll never find yourself without them. Remember: it’s just as important to wear sunglasses on cloudy and snowy days as it is in the summer.
Regular Eye Exams
Last but not least, make sure to get a regular eye exam. Not only does this allow opticians to track yearly changes in your eye health, but it can give a glimpse into your overall health! You can even schedule an appointment over a break when you’re home from school to make it easy.
Remember that if you need to see an eye doctor while you’re away at school, you can stop by any of our 56 locations. If you go to West Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, or University of Michigan, we have offices directly in your college town. Even if you usually see our team when you’re back home, we have access to the same records and information, no matter which location you choose, so every location is convenient for you.
What to pack: Your eye doctor’s phone number. That way you won’t need to look it up on the fly. Stick it on your fridge with a fun magnet so it’s right there when you need to make an appointment.