Do you wish to keep your vision crystal clear for as long as you live?
I hope you do, as our vision is probably the most cherished among all our senses. Blindness affects over 15 million people in India – a staggering statistic.
Just imagine not being able to appreciate the grandeur of the Taj Mahal, or not being able to look into the eyes of your first grand-child. Blindness can be harsh, and we must do all that we can to keep our eyesight intact.
So what can you do? Here are 5 tips to keep your eyes healthy and your eyesight amazing.
5 Tips To Keep Your Eyes Healthy
1. See Your Ophthalmologist (Eye Doctor)
I know this seems like an obvious tip, but you may be surprised how many people do not see their ophthalmologist at least once a year. In fact, 50% of people who know they need to go see an eye doctor fail to do so.
I listed this first as I feel it is the most important part of keeping your eyes healthy.
As we age, our eyes undergo changes that can affect our vision. Changes in the lenses, the development of high blood pressure or diabetes and changes in the retina can all affect the clarity of our vision. Cataracts are a common problem, and many of us require reading glasses or bifocals.
All adults over the age of 40 are advised to get their eyes checked once a year. In children, it is recommended that the first eye exam be between 6 months to 1 year. However, you can take the advice of your pediatrician on that.
Getting an eye check up is not just about how clearly you can see. It also helps evaluate how well blood flows to the back of the eye (retina). In addition, your doctor will also assess the pressure within the eyeball. A high pressure in the eye is called glaucoma.
If you are already wearing glasses, it does not matter. Make sure you see your eye doctor every year at the least.
2. Eat Well
What we eat defines how healthy we are. When it comes to our eyes, we all need foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is these vitamins and minerals that help keep our eyes healthy.
What nutrients do the eyes need?
Our eyes need vitamin A, C and E, along with zinc, lutein and omega 3 fatty acids, to name a few. These are readily available in foods and in some supplements (you can check out a great omega 3 supplement here).
Some of the best foods to keep your eyes healthy include
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale – Packed with vitamins and minerals
- Whole eggs – Great source of protein
- Nuts – Protein source
- Beans – Protein source
- Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackarel are rich in omega fatty acids
- Citrus fruits
- Orange colored produce – Oranges, carrots – are all rich in vitamin A and great for the eyes
Make sure you indulge in 2 to 3 portions of these on a regular basis. Make sure you combine your healthy diet with a good exercise routine.
3. Stop Smoking
If you think that smoking only affects the heart and lungs then you are terribly mistaken.
Smoking tobacco can increase the risk of damage to the nerve supplying the eye (called the optic nerve). The chances of developing a cataract are also very high if you smoke.
Smoking also has a number of other harmful effects on the body.
If you wish to keep your eyes healthy, then smoking is a complete no-no. See clearly through that cloud of smoke by quitting today.
4. Avoid Staring At Your Computer Screen For Too Long
If you are someone who spends long hours in front of a computers screen, then you may be increasing your risk of developing visual problems.
Staring at a computer screen can lead to a condition called ”computer vision syndrome”. Some people call it ”digital eyestrain”’. This is seen in people who stare at a computer screen for more than 2 hours at a stretch.
It has been found that those who spend many hours staring at a computer screen for work or for gaming blink lesser than the average person. Blinking is essential to keep the eyes moist and the cornea (eye surface) wet.
The Mayo Clinic, USA, states that people should follow the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of computer work, look away at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to help reduce eyestrain. Blink often when you are working. Use glare protection for your computer screens.
5. Wear Sunglasses
There are a number of different brands of sunglasses available these days. When choosing your shades, make sure you opt for one that protects your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Long term exposure to ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of cataract formation and macular degeneration.
Keep a look out for sunglasses that provide almost 100% protection against UV rays (both A and B). Visit your nearest sun glass store and ask for details.
Our eyes are a precious asset. Make sure you follow these 5 steps to protect your eyes to keep them healthy for years to come.