Exercise and a good diet are the key elements of maintaining good general health, but how often do we take steps to keep our eyes healthy? Fortunately, this isn’t very complicated. It’s all about adding a few simple things to your daily routine.
Taking care of our eyes often gets put on the back burner and we don’t even realize it. Our world is becoming more visual as time passes and with the increased use of technology and screen time, it is vital that we take care of our eyes.
A daily eye care routine can help protect eyesight for years to come. Here’s what you should do:
- Eat Right and Watch Your Weight – Intake of the right nutrients beginning in childhood and through adult life could help prevent eye disorders and age-related degeneration. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with foods rich in vitamins C and E, Omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein and zinc.
Obesity and related medical conditions, like diabetes, have been linked to poor eye health and even blindness. In addition to eating the right nutrients, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight, so make sure you get enough exercise and avoid sugary or fatty foods.
- Wear Protective Eyewear – Whether at home, outdoors or even at work, it’s important to focus on eye safety and make it part of our daily routine. Use protective goggles while playing rough sports or working with tools and chemicals. Wear UV-protective sunglasses when you’re out in the sun.
Excessive UV exposure can lead to a higher risk of macular degeneration and cataracts as well as other vision problems. Find a pair that offers 99-100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, and wear them even when you’re in the shade.
- Minimize the Use of Electronics – Prolonged periods of time spent staring at a computer, phone, tablet or TV screen can cause eye strain, muscle fatigue and blurriness. It’s also the main reason for dry eyes, which increases the chances of infection and other issues.
Avoid using these devices for too long, especially before you sleep, and adjust display settings to reduce strain on your eyes. Ensure there’s good lighting around you, blink often, and keep devices at a height that’s slightly lower than your eye level.
- Care for Your Contacts – If you wear contact lenses, you need to take care of them properly so you are not putting your eyes at risk. For instance, wearing them for over 19 hours at a stretch will not only cause discomfort but may also permanently damage your vision.
Take them out at the end of the day, keep them clean, and change them according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Consider LASIK surgery for vision correction as well, since it’s the safest alternative and offers a huge array of benefits.
- Get Enough Rest – Lack of sleep does a lot more than make your body and mind sluggish – it can also cause eye fatigue. This results in a wide range of problems, from blurry vision, irritation and light sensitivity to watery eyes, dryness, and back, shoulder or neck pain.
If left unchecked, this can cause even more serious problems down the line. Ensure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and take frequent breaks while working on a computer or reading, to give your eyes a rest.
- Don’t Smoke – Not only does smoking raise the risk of cancer and other health issues, it can also damage your optic nerve and lead to higher chances of developing cataract, age-related macular degeneration and a wide range of other vision disorders.
If you aren’t a smoker, don’t pick up the habit. If you do smoke, consult your doctor or pharmacist for help to quit the habit. The risk is higher for heavy smokers, but the more you try to abstain, the easier it will become!
- Do Some Eye Exercises – Like the rest of your body, your eyes also need exercise to remain healthy. Practice the 20-20-20 exercise while using a computer or watching television – look at an object 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Ask your eye doctor about other vision exercises you can perform as well.
Bonus Tip – Get Your Eyes Examined Regularly
Maintain a regular schedule for comprehensive eye exams. This is important even if you don’t face any eyesight issues, since a doctor can check for signs or symptoms that may not be obvious to you.
In your 20s and 30s, you should get a checkup every 5-10 years. If you’re between 40-65 years old, get one every 2-4 years, and make an annual appointment after the age of 65. Don’t delay visiting your eye doctor if you have a vision problem – early treatment can keep it from getting worse.
Adding these tips to your routine won’t take much, but it can go a long way toward protecting and maintaining healthy eyes. That’s definitely worth the time and effort!
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care especially LASIK. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels