Tips to better eye health

Many people take their eyes for granted. Like any other part of your body, your eyes are extremely important as they help you with so many functions throughout the day. Without them, you could find yourself lost. With everything that we put our eyes through on a daily basis, we need to give our eyes the attention and time to recover. Here are some tips on looking after your eyes better.

1. Eat Well

What we put into our bodies is vital to good health, not only for our guts, but also for our eyes. Studies have shown that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E could help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Here is a list of other foods that promote good health all round:

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and other oily fish
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

A well-balanced diet assists in maintaining a healthy weight, which makes reduces your risk in obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes – which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

2. Wear Sunglasses

Just like your skin, your eyes are affected by the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Choosing the right pair of sunglasses can block most of both UVA and UVB rays, so choose carefully when buying your next pair of glasses.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking could lead to cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. The sooner you quit smoking, the better you will feel overall. Trust me, your body will thank you in the long run. If you’ve tried to quit but weren’t successful, then keep trying, or speak to your doctor to try other techniques in quitting.

4. Use Safety Eyewear

Wearing safety glasses or protective goggles when you work with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, will make sure that you don’t harm or damage your eyes.

Wearing helmets with protective face masks with assist in shielding your eyes when you place sports such as ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse. Take every precaution to care for your eyes when playing sport.

5. Computer Monitor

Staring at a computer screen for too long can cause:

  • Eyestrain
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble focusing at a distance
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain

6. Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly

Just like your general health checks by either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, you should also examine your eyes regularly. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize and provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery. Optometrists provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases. They don’t do eye surgery. Eye exams can detect some eye diseases that have no symptoms. And finding these early on will help in treatment and prevention.

A typical eye examination may include:

  • Talking about your personal and family medical history
  • Taking vision tests to see if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism (a curved cornea that blurs vision), or presbyopia (age-related vision changes)
  • Eye pressure and optic nerve tests to check if you have glaucoma
  • External and microscopic examination of your eyes before and after dilation

Other tips to protect your eyes:

  • Make sure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date and adequate for computer use.
  • Some people may need glasses to help with contrast, glare, and eye strain when using a computer.
  • Position your computer so that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor.
  • Try to avoid glare on your computer from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if needed.
  • Choose a comfortable, supportive chair.
  • Blink more to maintain eye fluid.
  • Take frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest from your regular routine.