When it comes to caring for your body, you know that eating healthy, getting your exercise in, and brushing your teeth are all musts. But one area of our bodies that are often overlooked are our eyes. Check out these 7 essential eye care tips to start taking care of yours today.
Has it been years since your last eye exam? Are you guilty of leaving your contact lenses in for far too long?
Proper eye care techniques are essential for everyone, even those who currently have 20/20 vision.
The sooner you start taking care of your vision, the better off you’ll be.
Read on to learn seven essential eye care tips that will help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision as sharp as possible.
Factors that Contribute Eye Health
While anyone can deal with vision loss or eye issues at some point in their life, certain people are more likely to deal with these problems than others. The following factors all contribute to the chances that person will struggle with poor eye health:
Women also experience frequent hormonal changes, which contribute to conditions like dry eye syndrome.
Finally, women also are more prone to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus, both of which have a significant impact on vision and eye health.
The following people are more likely experience certain vision disorders based on their race:
- African Americans are more likely to develop cataracts, glaucoma, and blindness
- Asian Americans are more likely to develop a certain type of glaucoma known as angle-closure glaucoma
- Caucasians are also prone to cataracts
- Hispanics are also prone to cataracts and glaucoma
Of course, belonging to a certain ethnic group does not guarantee you’ll struggle with poor eye health. But, it’s still important to know if you’re predisposed to specific conditions.
Blood Sugar Levels
People who suffer from diabetes are also more prone to poor eye health, specifically a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Chronically high blood pressure significantly damages the blood vessels that supply the retinas with blood.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, talk to your doctor to learn more about what you can do to properly care for your eyes.
Eye Care Tips Everyone Should be Following
These simple eye care tips will help you prevent disease and avoid vision loss as you age.
They’re not a guarantee that you won’t experience poor eye health later in life, but they can definitely help.
1. Upgrade Your Diet
You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your vision. This is true, but there are lots of other foods that you should incorporate into your diet to maintain good eye health. Some of the best ones include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fatty fish (especially salmon, sardines, and mackerel)
- Citrus fruits (especially lemons, grapefruits, and oranges)
It’s best to get these nutrients from whole foods, but you can also supplement with a high-quality multivitamin.
2. Quit Smoking
In addition to increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, smoking also increases your risk of vision loss and blindness.
Smoking restricts healthy blood flow to the retinas. As a result, it increases your chances of developing a number of eye diseases, including dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Smoking also increases your chances of developing diabetes and, by default, diabetic retinopathy.
3. Wear Sunglasses
Be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses whenever you’re headed outdoors. Sunglasses aren’t just for summertime. Even if it’s cloudy or overcast, your eyes are still susceptible to damage from the sun.
The best sunglasses will block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.
4. Protect Your Eyes at Work and at Play
If you do any kind of carpentry or construction work, it’s important to wear protective glasses to prevent particles from flying particles.
It’s also important to wear protective glasses if you play sports or engage in activities that require you to look into the sun. Cricket, running, golf, and cycling are all examples of such sports.
You should also use caution when engaging in water-related activities like rowing, sailing, and fishing. Since sunlight reflects off the water, these activities can be very hard on the eyes.
5. Take Regular Computer Breaks
Construction workers aren’t the only ones who need to protect their eyes while they’re at work.
You might not need to wear heavy duty protective glasses, but you should still take steps to shield your eyes if you spend hours a day at a computer.
Staring a screen for hours on end contributes to a type of eye strain known as computer vision syndrome.
To prevent this from happening to you, be sure to take regular breaks from your computer, tablet, or phone screen.
A good rule of thumb is to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes. You don’t have to get up from your desk or completely disrupt your productivity (although you should also be taking regular breaks to walk around). Simply gaze at an object far away to give your eyes a rest.
6. Know Your Family History
Understanding the influence that your ethnic background has on your eye health is important, but it’s also important to look at your immediate family members. Do they all suffer from similar eye diseases or poor vision? If so, chances are you might also struggle with them at some point.
Learn about the diseases run in your family so you can start working to prevent them.
7. Get Regular Checkups
Finally, and, perhaps most importantly, you should also make sure you’re getting regular eye exams to check for common eye diseases. The sooner you’re diagnosed, the easier it will be to treat your specific condition.
You should get your eyes checked every 1-2 years. If you’re at risk of certain eye diseases, be sure to get comprehensive exams once a year. If you don’t have any vision problems but just want to prevent them, you can probably get by with an exam every two years.
Want to Learn More?
You now have some great eye care tips in your arsenal. Are there other aspects of your health that are lacking? Perhaps your dental care or fitness routine?
Whatever it is that could use some fine-tuning, we’ve got answers. Check out our other health-related blog posts for all the information you need to start living your best and healthiest life.