Eye Health

Many programs at LWTech are focused on concentrated eye use. Learning about eye health is important for all students who use their sight as part of their learning. 

How the Eye Works

First, light passes through the cornea (the clear front layer of the eye). The cornea is shaped like a dome and bends light to help the eye focus. Some of this light enters the eye through an opening called the pupil (PYOO-pul). The iris (the colored part of the eye) controls how much light the pupil lets in. Next, light passes through the lens (a clear inner part of the eye). The lens works together with the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina. When light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals. These electrical signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. Then the brain turns the signals into the images you see. Your eyes also need tears to work correctly.

A diagram of the eye. Labels include cornea, pupul, lens, vitreous humor, macula, fovea, optic nerve, retina, sclera, iris

Stages of Eye Health

The Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons maintains information for healthy eyes for every stage of life. The National Eye Institute also suggests that as you age, it is normal to notice changes in your vision. Vision changes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading, walking safely, taking medications, performing self-care and household tasks, and driving.

Everyone can prevent vision loss due to age. The National Eye Institute suggests:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish
  • Exercise
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Control diabetes (if you have it)
  • Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat any time you are outside in bright sunshine
  • Wear protective eye wear when working around your house or playing sports

Here are some examples of age related eye issues.

Your child or teenager's eyes should be screened during regular check-ups with the pediatrician every one to two years.
Have a complete eye exam at least once between 20 and 29 and at least twice between 30 and 39. See an ophthalmologist if you experience visual changes or pain; see flashes of light, spots or ghost-like images; have dry eyes with itching or burning; or if lines appear distorted or wavy.
Even if you have no signs or risk factors for eye disease, you should see an ophthalmologist to get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40. This is in addition to regular visits to the ophthalmologist for vision exams, or to treat ongoing diseases or injuries.
Have a complete eye exam from an ophthalmologist every one to two years to check for cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions.

Eye Disease and Protection

There are various indicators which lead to eye disease. Those might include being overweight, having a family history of eye disease, having high blood pressure,

Ways to reduce eye disease risk include eating healthy food, being active, and quitting smoking. According to the National Eye Institute smoking increases your risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and harm to the optic nerve.

There are simple steps to protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses, wear protective gear like safety goggles, giving your eyes a break from strain using the 20/20/20 method, and washing your hands before adjusting or putting in contacts.

20/20/20 method is a way to rest and relax your eyes. Taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Eye Protection on Campus

Many LWTech programs require eye protection when working on projects in the classroom. Read your class syllabus for dress code policies, or ask you professor for more information if  you have questions about eye protection requirements. Proper eye wear for some classes are available for purchase in the college bookstore.

Learn More About Eye Health