Our eyesight is often the gift we take for granted and continue to neglect. Yet, there are so many things we can do to help maintain healthy eyes. Sure, we spend hours running, biking or at the gym to improve our heart rate, muscle tone and physique. We’ve even tried many diets or started a healthy eating routine to shed a few pounds. So why don’t we focus on our eye health? If you value your eyesight, take a moment to read these few tips. See if you can implement some of these easy practices or remove some unhealthy habits.
Yes, this tip can be more challenging than the rest, but an extremely important habit to try to kick. We always hear that smoking is bad for our lungs, yet rarely hear that it affects our eyesight. Actually, smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. Hopefully this information will provide the incentive to quit smoking today!
Did you know, too much UV ray exposure to your eyes can increase your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration? Wearing sunglasses can be an easy routine to provide the protection your eyes need, but it’s important to wear the right sunglasses that offer the best UV protection. Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses can also reduce glare while wraparound lenses help protect side exposure. And, even some contact lenses offer UV protection.
Look Away from Your Computer Screen
Yes, technology is great but now more than ever, we are starring at computer, IPad or phone screens many hours of the day. Doing so can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, dry eye syndrome, and trouble focusing at a distance.
Make sure you take the following steps to protect your eyes from this exposure:
- If your eyes are dry, make sure you blink more.
- Schedule regular eye exams and make sure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date. Some people many need glasses specific to computer use.
- Try to avoid glare on your computer screen from window and lights or use an anti-glare screen if necessary.
- Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Do this at least every 2 hours and make sure you get up and take a break every 15 minutes.
Healthy Eating for Your Vision
It’s true. There are certain foods that have been proven to protect your eye health. Studies have shown that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E can help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. The following food choices, eaten on a regular basis, are shown to maintain good eye health:
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits and juices
- Oysters and pork
Also, eating a well-balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes—a leading cause of blindness in adults.
Wear Safety Eyewear
This might seem like a given, but many people get complacent and neglect this seemingly obvious practice. If you work in an environment with hazardous or airborne materials, always wear protective goggles. Also, participating in certain sports activities should warrant the use of eyewear protection, such as hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse. It only takes a second to have a lifetime of regret.