6 Tips & Tricks to Keep our Eyes Healthy
If you stop and think about it, we’re actively using our eyes for over 16 hours a day. While many of our other organs are passively working in the background (heart pumping blood or liver secreting enzymes), our eyes are the most actively used organ in our whole body! It’s also important to understand that being able to see clearly for our whole lives is definitely not a guarantee. However, by just developing a few good habits, we can greatly reduce our chances of developing problems with our vision.
With that said, here are 6 simple tips from an eye care professional on how to avoid vision-related problems!
1. Watch what you Eat
It is incredible to me that despite how important it is for our overall health and wellbeing to have a healthy diet, a large amount of people simply don’t stick to one. Our eyes are just like every other important organ in our body; they require the proper nutrients to maintain function. Important nutrients such as lutein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins E and C have been proven to be quite effective in preventing vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Did you know that diabetes is the #1 cause of blindness in adults? Maintaining a proper diet and keeping sugar intake low helps prevent the onset of diabetes, even in one’s old age.
Foods you should eat:
- Green vegetables
- Fish oil
- Non-animal protein sources like beans
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking damages many parts of our body; our lungs, liver, digestive systems, and even our eyes! Smoking is a leading cause of eye-related health issues, including things like macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and development of cataracts. Even if you’ve been smoking for many years, it’s not too late to quit now. There are many hotlines that can be invaluable for people who want to quit smoking, so don’t wait any longer!
3. Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
It may sound exciting and fun to spend the entire day tanning at the beach. However, did you know how harmful constant exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be? In terms of eye health, I would strongly recommend that you wear sunglasses when you’re going to face constant sun exposure.
For those of you who wear contacts, ask your eye doctor if you have contacts that come with UV protection.
4. Wear protective gear
While your eyes can often be harmed by things like overexposure to computer screens or UV rays, these are not the only things that could harm them. You should also watch out for your eyes if you’re in a hazardous environment like a construction site with a lot of dust and particles that could irritate them. Also, if you engage in a competitive contact sport, you should consider wearing protective goggles to protect your eyes from possibly being harmed.
5. Avoid Eye Strain
In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to avoid a prolonged time staring at a screen. Be it a desktop, laptop, tablet and of course our smartphones, prolonged exposure any one of these can strain our eyes. This might cause our eyes to dry up and cause strained eyes or blurry vision.
To avoid this from happening, take note of the following tips:
- Avoid leaning too close to the screen and keep them at arm’s length.
- Avoid overly bright or glaring lights
- There’s such a thing as the 20-20-20 rule. 20 minutes of exposure means you should stare at something 20 meters away for 20 secs.
6. Visit your Eye Doctor Regularly
Even if nothing is currently wrong with your vision, it does not hurt to go for regular checkups! Our vision is something we must constantly maintain and upkeep, so always go for at least a bi-annual eye consultation. This will allow you and your doctor to preemptively identify any possibility of a vision problem before it occurs. Early detection means a better chance for treatment.