Millions of people have sight loss so severe that it impacts their lives, but what’s surprising is that it’s avoidable.
While nobody wants to lose their vision, the reality is that many of us don’t know the simple steps we can take each day to keep our eyes healthy and protect our sight.
We outline the easy tweaks you can make to your lifestyle to look after your eyes. And as a bonus, many of these will also support your overall health and wellbeing.
Watch What You Eat
This isn’t about monitoring your waistline or getting rid of those excess pounds. Watching your food intake can also greatly impact your eye health.
As children, we’ve all been told that eating carrots would help us see in the dark — and it’s grounded in fact. Carrots are chock full of vitamin A, which plays a critical role in the maintenance of the heart, lungs and — you guessed it — eyes. This vitamin is an essential component of a protein in the retina called rhodopsin, which helps you see in low light.
But Carrots Aren’t The Only Food To Feast On To Take Care Of Your Eyes.
Eating dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach provides a healthy dose of antioxidants that can protect your eyes from degenerating as you get older.
Pair these with oily fish rich in omega-3 like salmon or mackerel, and you’ll also help prevent dry-eye syndrome, which can make your eyes feel irritated and itchy.
Limit Screen Time
Whether you’re watching TV, working on your laptop or PC or catching up on what’s going on in the world on your mobile phone, screens are everywhere. They also emit blue light, which can lead to eye fatigue and stop you from getting a good night’s sleep (which isn’t great for your eye health, either). By limiting your screen time, you can avoid these problems. Consider the following tips:
- Make a plan. If you know you need to use your phone or computer for an extended period, try to schedule it in advance. This will help you stay aware of how much time you spend on screens and avoid impulsively using them.
- Take breaks often to get away from your screen, especially if you work on your computer. Set a timer for every 20-30 minutes and take a five-minute break to get up and move around.
- Use the night mode setting on your devices when using your phone at night. While it doesn’t technically filter out blue light, the warm amber hue can support your circadian rhythm, so you’re not lying awake at night.
Smoking cigarettes causes many health problems, including eye health issues. Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage. By quitting smoking, you can improve your eye health and reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
Plenty of methods can help you quit smoking, from stop-smoking groups to nicotine replacement therapy. If you’re struggling to quit on your own, consider seeking professional help. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it’s worth the effort to kick the habit.
Stay On Top Of Contact Lens Care
While contact lenses correct the vision of millions, they can cause problems if they’re not used properly, including eye infections. If you wear them, be sure to follow the instructions for storage, clean them regularly with the supplied lens cleaning solution, wash your hands before handling them and replace them when you’re instructed to — not when they start irritating your eyes.
Invest In A Good Pair Of Sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is a great way to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. When choosing sunglasses, look for a pair that blocks at least 99% of UV rays.
Sunglasses come in various styles, so you can find a pair that suits your needs and taste. If you wear prescription glasses, you can get sunglasses with prescription lenses. Be sure to ask your eye doctor about the best option for you.
Get Your Eyes Checked Often
Eye Tests Are Easy To Put Off, Especially If You Don’t Think You Have Any Problems With Your Sight.
But getting your eyes checked often can help identify the early signs of common conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal damage so you can begin treatment and save your sight before it’s too late.
An eye test can also benefit your overall health, helping diagnose diabetes and high blood pressure, affecting the eyes.
Eye Tests Are Available At Your Local Opticians Or A Private Eye Hospital.
We often take our vision for granted, but your eye health should be a priority. By following these tips, you can help ensure your eyes stay healthy and free from problems.