Changes to the health of your eyes can happen gradually and you may not have any obvious signs of disease. It is important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis by an optometrist or other eye care health professional. Most vision problems are avoidable or can be treated. You can take action to keep your eyes healthy.
Here are 10 actions you can take to keep your eyes healthy:
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when you are outdoors. Ultraviolet light can cause damage to your eyes and, in the long term, lead to eye conditions such as cataracts.
- Wear eye protection at your workplace. Sixty per cent of all eye injuries occur at work. Jobs that involve handling hazardous chemicals or the use of machinery to cut, drill, grind, hammer, sand, spray or weld increase your chances of eye injuries.
- Visit your eye care health professional regularly. Regular checks may help to detect problems at an early stage, which means you can potentially have treatment before any permanent damage occurs to your eyes.
- Wear eye protection when playing sports. Eye injuries can easily occur when playing sports such as fencing, squash or high-speed ball sports. It is also a good idea to protect your eyes from road grit or projectiles when riding a bicycle.
- Quit smoking. Smoking damages your whole body, including the blood vessels that supply blood and nutrients to your eyes. If you are a smoker, it is not too late to improve your eye health by quitting.
- Stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine. Eating fresh, healthy food and exercising regularly helps to keep your blood vessels, eyes and your body in good shape.
- Avoid eye injuries at home. Wear eye protection when using power tools or chemicals or when doing home maintenance, renovations or work in the garden.
- Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels low helps to keep your eyes and the rest of your body healthy.
- Take regular breaks when working in front of your computer. Staring at the computer causes eyestrain and tired eyes and can cause long-term damage to your vision. Incorporate regular breaks and try some eye exercises to relax your eye muscles.
- Make sure you have proper lighting. Position your lights correctly when reading or working at the computer. Low light or bright lights can cause eyestrain
Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes
Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.
Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.
Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
Eat right to protect your sight. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.i Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.
Wear protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.
Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii
Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.
Clean your hands and your contact lensesproperly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
Good vision helps you perform well—at home, at work, or behind the wheel. That’s why it’s important to take a few simple steps to make sure you help keep your eyesight at its best. A regular eye exam is the best way to protect your eyesight – and an easy precaution to take. Here are some tips to help maintain eye health as you age.
Exercise improves blood circulation, which improves oxygen levels to the eyes and the removal of toxins.
Get a good night’s sleep
You’ll feel the difference when you get the sleep you need. You’ll look great, you’ll perform at home or work—and good rest will support the health of your eyes.
Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean is so important when it comes to your eyes, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer. Before you touch your eye—and before you put in or remove a contact lens—wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel. Some germs and bacteria that come from your hands can cause eye infections, like bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye). When you touch your eye, whatever is on your fingers goes right onto your eye’s surface. This is one way that people catch colds—rubbing their eyes while they have cold virus germs on their hands.
Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress. While the connection has not been clearly identified, it is known that smoking increases your risk for a variety of health conditions affecting the eye.
To protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, choose sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection. Also, wearing a hat with a brim will greatly reduce the amount of UV radiation slipping around the side of your sunglasses.
Devices and Blue Light
You’re probably using digital devices for hours each day at work and at home. These devices are exposing your eyes to high energy blue light. It’s called blue light because the wavelengths emitted are near the bluer part of the spectrum. Lutein & Zeaxanthin are eye nutrients that are concentrated in the macula and help filter blue light.* Lutein and Zeaxanthin cannot be produced by our bodies on their own, so they must be obtained through diet and/or supplements. If you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet, visit Ocuvite.com to learn more.
Here are some other tips to help when you’re on your computer:
- Keep your computer screen within 20″-24″ of your eye.
- Keep the top of your computer screen slightly below eye level.
- Adjust lighting to minimize glare on the screen.
- Blink frequently.
- Take a break every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Use lubricating eye drops to soothe irritated, dry eyes.
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