It’s not easy to overstate the importance of sight in our lives. From the moment we wake up until the minute we fall asleep at night, our eyes are a crucial part of our existence. Keeping your eyes healthy is clearly a priority, and yet how exactly we can do that is much less obvious.
The following is a list of important tips for keeping your eyes healthy:
1. Make sure you have a well-balanced diet
The first tip is the most important: healthy eyes start with proper nutrition. While the old nugget about eating carrots for vision may be an exaggeration, eating foods high in vitamin C, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zinc will help stave off the onset of macular degeneration and cataracts that afflict many people in old age.
In addition, a well-balanced diet will offset the probability of developing type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness for adults in the USA.
- Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard
- Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
- Protein from sources other than animal meat, such as nuts, beans and eggs
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Nutritional supplements and vitamins
2. Stop smoking cigarettes!
While it is now common knowledge that tobacco use is linked to a host of cancers and pulmonary diseases, it is less common to have an understanding of the damage that cigarettes do to delicate organs such as the eyes.
Tobacco use damages the optic nerve, and increases the likelihood of developing cataracts. The more times you attempt to quit, the higher the chances of success, so do not give up, and contact a doctor or the smokers helpline for more support.
3. Pull out sunglasses, every day!
Harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are an ever-present part of daily life, so ensure to always protect your eyes with the right sunglasses. Select a pair of glasses that block out 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and consider buying wrap-around frames for added protection. Polarized lenses help reduce glare. If you live in a desert, or in a region that gets a lot of brightly lit snowfall, this tip is even more important.
4. Use protective eye gear
Use it in any situation that might put your eyes at risk. Whether at work, school, or at home, when dangerous materials or chemicals are airborne make sure that you are wearing goggles or safety glasses. Certain sports and athletics also compromise eye safety, so protect your eyes during racquetball, hockey, lacrosse, and of course any athletic activity in a pool with chlorine.
5. Be mindful of screen time
Our modern technology is a blessing, but it can be a huge strain on our eyes. If you must spend hours in front of a computer, make sure you are taking frequent breaks every few hours in order to reduce the strain on your eyes. In addition to blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches, the posture at which you use a computer can produce neck and shoulder pain as well as contribute to back problems.
Use a supportive chair that allows both feet to remain planted on the floor. Take a break every 20 minutes, and focus on something that is at least 20 feet away. Rub your eyes and close them for a minute, allowing them to rest. When using a computer, have the top of the monitor at eye level, so that the screen is slightly lower than face level, allowing you to look down at your work.
6. Visit your eye doctor regularly.
Nothing can replace an expert medical opinion in regards to eye health and the needs of your eyes to provide proper vision, and scheduling an appointment today is the best tip when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy.