We Preppers have great foresight, because we can see what dangers lurk on our horizon, and it takes pretty good vision to see that. But a lot of us are nearsighted too, and are chained to our eyeglasses or contact lenses even just to watch television or see what the clock on the wall says.
Imagine what would happen in a collapse setting if your contact lenses dry out or one of your kids steps on your glasses! I can’t think of anything scarier than being on your own in that situation, and not being able to see. If you’re serious about preparing, You better include keeping your eyesight sharp as one of your priorities.
Stocking Up: Eyecare Strategy in a Collapse Situation
You should take advantage of those 2 for 1 sales on eyeglasses or contact lenses, and while there is an eye doctor to go to, get regular checkups and keep up with your prescription. If you wear contacts, always make sure you also keep a few pairs of cheap prescription eyeglasses; you can bet that they won’t be manufactured after the Zombie Apocalypse!
If you’re blind as a bat and have a few bucks in the bank, take some out and get Lasik surgery. Nurse Amy and I have both had it. Lasik uses painless lasers to change the configuration of the retina to improve your vision. For me, the whole procedure took 10 minutes! The actual eye work took less than 15 seconds for each eye) and my vision was almost instantaneously 20/20. It still is, 15 years later.
Think about it, if you’re a prepper, you probably believe that we are going to have hyperinflation in the future, probably the near future. Your paper money isn’t going to be worth very much then, so why not take some out of the bank now and use it for something tangible, something well, priceless, really. I don’t regret it for a second, and think about how important it is to have perfect vision in an imperfect world.
There are a few ways to safeguard your precious eyesight. Buy a pair of sunglasses with good ultraviolet (UV) protection to use whenever you’re out in the sun. UV light causes long-term damage to the inner structures of the eye, but wearing sunglasses can shield you and can help prevent conditions such as cataracts. Also don’t forget to use eye protection for any activity that could possibly injure your eyes. It only takes a second for something to hit an unprotected eye; it could cause serious damage and a lifetime of kicking yourself for getting into that mess. If you hunt or target shoot, you’re already used to using eye protection. Whenever you’re doing activities of daily living in a power-down situation, you should be asking yourself not why you should, but why you SHOULDN’T have your eye protection on.
You can also protect your eyes by preventing infections that could harm them. Conjunctivitis, which is also called “pinkeye”, is an eye infection that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergic reactions, chemicals, or irritants (something that gets in the eye). Your eyes get red and itchy, and, if it’s an infection, you’ll have a yellowish crusty discharge.
Pinkeye can easily pass from person to person. Even just shaking hands with someone who has it could spread the infection to your own eye by touching it with your hand. Here’s some guidelines to avoid spreading the germs that can cause eye infections:
· Don’t share eye drops with others.
· Don’t touch the tip of a bottle of eye drops with your hands or your eyes because that can contaminate it with germs. Keep the bottle 2-3 inches above your eye.
· Don’t share eye makeup with others.
· Never put contact lenses in your mouth to wet them. Many bacteria and viruses — maybe even the Herpes virus — are present in your mouth and could easily spread to your eyes.
· Change your contacts often. The longer they stay in your eyes, the more chance you eye can get infected, or even develop corneal ulcers.
· Wash your hands regularly (did I really have to tell you this?)
· Ask your eye doctor if he has any samples of medicated eye drops to give you. Eye doctors are a little more liberal about this than regular doctors. Stockpile.
Another common eye issue is called a “sty”. A sty is an infected eyelash follicle. It causes redness, swelling, and is generally uncomfortable. Warm moist compresses are helpful to allow the sty to drain. You can prevent the infected follicle from getting worse by using antibiotic eye drops such as Tobradex, but the sty will usually go away by itself, like a pimple would. Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline 100mg twice a day could be useful for lingering infections.
Don’t forget that there are various natural remedies that will be useful for conjunctivitis or stys:
- Apply a fresh wet chamomile or goldenseal tea bag to the affected eye for 10 minutes every two hours.
- Make a strong chamomile tea (3 tea bags to 1 cup of water) and use the liquid as an eye wash, using an eye cup or use with a moist cloth as a compress (soaked cotton balls, washcloth or gauze).
- Make coriander seed tea (1 tsp seeds to boiled water). Cover and steep for 15 minutes and then strain out the seeds. Use as an eye wash or compress.
- Mix honey with warm water (2-3 tablespoons of raw honey to 2 cups warm water). Use as an eye wash or moist compress.
- Use unprocessed apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon to 1 cup water) as an eye wash or compress.
- Essential oils of rose, lavender or chamomile as a compress (a few drops on a warm moist cloth) for 10 minutes twice a day, or as needed for itching.
Next time, we’ll talk about eye injuries caused by foreign objects and trauma.