Your organs tend to get weaker and lose their functionality as you age, and eyesight is no exception to this rule. As you grow older and your eyesight weakens, it becomes susceptible to infections, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degenerative eye diseases. Though we’re aware of this fact, what we don’t realize is that our habits also affect our eye health significantly. Here are 10 simple changes you must make in your daily routine if you want to improve your eye health:
- Eat These Foods for Better Eye Health
- Make sure you are consuming enough of fiber and whole grains. These foods give you the goodness of vitamin E, niacin and zinc. All these nutrients help you fight cataracts and AMD.
- Include fresh fruits and dark green vegetables in your diet. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, which can help reduce free radical damage and fight the effects of dry eyes.
- It’s essential to stay hydrated to avoid dry eyes, which may cause problems like cataracts and vision problems.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are good for eye health as they help prevent dry eyes, macular degeneration, and even cataracts. Cold-water fish like salmon, or tuna, and vegetarian supplements with black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- High sodium can increase the risk of dry eyes and cataracts, so keep the salt in your food to a minimum.
- Keep Your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Glucose Levels in Check
Heart disorders and cardiovascular diseases greatly increase the risk of low vision because your heart health affects the blood vessels in your eyes, resulting in retinopathy. To protect your eyes from the irreversible damage caused by increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it is important that you take your prescribed medicines on time and follow the recommended precautionary measures that control your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Wear Protective Eye Wear
Whether you are stepping out in the sun, sitting in front of the computer screen, going for a swim or playing contact sports – wearing appropriate protective eyewear is crucial. Choose good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays. UV rays can cause problems like cataracts, cornea burns, and even cancer of the eyelid. Also, protective and appropriate eye gear is recommended for swimmers and those who are actively involved in sports such as basketball, baseball etc., to avoid eye infections, low vision, and injury.
- Quit Smoking
The ill effects of smoking are well known. But did you know that smoking can be detrimental to your eye health? If you smoke, you are at a greater risk of developing eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration. Besides, smoking also builds up plaque in your bloodstream and weakens arteries, which not only increases the risk of a heart attack but also damages your retina and may result in low vision.
- Limit Exposure to Digital Screens
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, our eyes are exposed to digital screens for long hours. This puts excessive strain on your eyes and causes blurry vision, dry eyes and headaches. Over a period of time, your eye health gradually deteriorates, resulting in low vision. To avoid these ill effects caused by digital eye strain, you should work on limiting the period you spend staring at digital screens and give your eyes some rest at regular intervals. You can follow a helpful technique called the 20-20-20 rule where every 20 minutes you need to focus at something that is at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. This rule will not only protect your eyes from the adverse effects of digital strain but also help you prevent low vision in the long-term.
- Get Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye checkups are of utmost importance. This will help your ophthalmologist diagnose eye diseases and related problems such as myopia and cataract at the initial phase itself. Early detection helps the doctor prescribe timely and appropriate treatment for healthy eyes. Also, regular eye exams can help your eye doctor identify early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma that otherwise have no visible symptoms.
- Get Adequate Sleep
A good night’s sleep can do a world of good to your eye health. Those who stay up late, often complain of eye pain the next day. This is because the muscles of your eyes also need adequate relaxation. Adequate sleep helps release the stress of your eye muscles. So, ensure that you get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Maintain Proper Eye Hygiene
Eye hygiene becomes more crucial for those who wear contacts and eye makeup. Always ensure that you clean your hands and your contact lenses with appropriate solution to protect your eyes. You should never sleep with your contacts or eye makeup on. Also, never use expired cosmetics. Avoid rubbing your eyes as they can transfer diseases from your hands to your eyes, and leave you more vulnerable to eye infections.
- Avoid Poor Lighting
Underlighted settings can cause immense strain on your eyes and lead to dryness and irritation in your eyes. Make sure you have ample of light when you are reading or working on a computer screen for long durations.
- Exercise Regularly for Eye Health
Almost every one of us is well versed with the benefits of exercising regularly. It promotes overall physical as well as mental health. However, few of us know that regular exercise does wonders for the vision also. Exercising daily for only half an hour boosts blood and oxygen flow to your entire body including the eyes which in turn improves eye health and protects your eyes from low vision and eye diseases.
In order to keep your eye health at its best, watch out for any changes in vision as you get older. If you’re experiencing blurriness, double vision, loss of night vision, eye pain, headaches or other discomforts, see an ophthalmologist at the earliest.
Our vision expert doctors at InSight Vision Center in Fresno, CA will help you learn more about what you can do to maintain healthy eyes.
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 to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK.