Your eyes are among your most important organs. They are also among the most vulnerable, and they need protection to maintain and improve your eyesight. There are several ways to protect your eyes and keep them healthy every day.
To protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age, consider these simple guidelines
Talk to your family about eye history
The primary precaution to take is to be aware of one’s family’s eye health history. This is an important step to know if anyone in the family has been diagnosed with a disease or conditions, since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease. Regular eye exams are particularly important, because an early diagnosis can limit any vision loss and help preserve eyesight.
Protect your eyes from harmful UV light
When out in the sun, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, pinguecula and other eye problems. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Buy sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure. If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes.
Avoid tobacco smoke
Smoking generates free radicals (chemicals that react with membranes and genetic material to destroy cells and tissues), damages the eyes, and escalates the risk of arterial disease.
A varied, colourful, plant-based diet keeps eyes healthy. Plants provide fibre that slows absorption of cholesterol and sugar. And they’re rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Many berries are potent antioxidants and they strengthen blood-vessels. A large trial called the age-related eye disease study found that a higher intake of antioxidants, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids (the type found in fish) may decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration in those at high genetic risk. 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.
While watching TV, make sure you sit at an appropriate distance. When using a computer, try to keep the monitor at least a foot away from your eyes. Be sure to blink regularly, and look away from the screen regularly. A bigger monitor and/or bigger font size can help you see clearly from a distance. Keep the screen brightness as much as necessary. Avoid using a computer with a window or lamp behind you, as it can create bright glare on the screen and cause eye strain. On most computers, you can reduce the blue light emission (relative to red and green) by going into the graphics properties and changing the colour settings. You can also get special, tinted computer glasses that reduce the amount of blue light reaching your eyes.