From TV screens to smartphones; we use our eyes to stare at small images and fonts more than ever before. We therefore need to ask ourselves, are we doing enough to protect the health of our eyes? Are we eating the right food? Do we have the right eyeglasses that protect our eyes?
It is really sad that we are always busy doing our daily activities and spending hours reading books or staring at the computer that we rarely find time to go for eye check-up.
Your eyes play a major role in your overall wellbeing and therefore, apart from visiting an optometrist, there are several other things that you can do on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are safe and healthy.
Here are five ways to maintain your eyesight.
1.Wear eyeglasses that provides total ultraviolet (UV) rays protection
Let us begin with the obvious – eyeglasses. It is common knowledge that you should protect your skin from the harmful effect of the UV radiation but we often forget that our eyes also need similar protection. Ultraviolet radiations as you may know come from the sun and are reflected off surfaces such as sand and water.
One of the best ways of protecting your eyes from UV rays is by wearing eyeglasses that offer 100% UVB & UVA protection, particularly when you’re outdoors.
Note that a long time exposure to UV rays can cause photo conjunctivitis or photokeratitis which is commonly known as snow blindness. Constant exposure to UV rays can also lead to pterygium (an eye condition that involves abnormal growth in the cornea), skin cancer of the eyelids and cataract.
- Regular eye check-up
The best thing you can ever do for your eyes is to go for a regular eye check-up. Even though you may feel and think that your eyes are fine, the only way for you to be cock sure is by visiting an optometrist.
Eye exam not only determines whether you require eyeglasses or not, but it also helps to identify other eye conditions or diseases at an early stage (at the point where it can be effectively treated). For instance, there are eye conditions such as Glaucoma that do not show any signs or symptoms and can only be discovered during an eye exam.
- Eat healthy
Healthy eyes begin with the food on your plate. Nutrients such as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E and C may help prevent age-related eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. To get these nutrients, you need to eat food like collards, kale, spinach (green leafy vegetables), tuna, salmon and other oily fish. You can also consider some beans, eggs, nuts, oranges, pork and oysters.
A properly balanced diet will also help you to maintain a good and healthy weight. This reduces your chances of being obese which in turn reduces your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes which is the major cause of blindness in adults.
- Stop smoking
Smoking has been associated with many diseases including lung cancer. When it comes to eye health, smoking is reported to increase the risk of macular degeneration, cataract and optic nerve damage. If you have been trying to stop this harmful habit only to get back to it again, keep at it. The more you try, the higher the chances of you succeeding.
- Take a break from the screen, rest your eyes
If your work involves working on the computer the entire day, you might forget to blink regularly and this may cause your eyes to be fatigued. The National eye institute recommends you adopt the 20-20-20 rule. The rule suggests that for every 20 minutes spent on a screen; shift your gaze to something else that is approximately 20ft away and look at it for around 20 seconds.
Research predicts that almost half the people in the globe will be short sighted come 2050 if we don’t stop spending most of our time on near-based gadgets or electronics devices.
According to the research, which was published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, people who spend most of their time outdoors, and less time carrying out activities that need relentless up-close focus, reduces their chances of having vision loss in the future.
If you are working in an environment where you are required to put on eyeglasses or eyewear, make it a habit to put them on so that you prevent strain or eye damage.