Did you know there are easier ways of improving your eye health? In observance of World Eyesight Day, it is time to be more informed about basic eye health.
The eyes are as sensitive as they are useful. They require constant care but give us the ability to see.
Many dangers await people who neglect their eye health, from numerous diseases like cataracts or glaucoma. Remembering how to take care of every body part can become a task for some. However, what is not commonly known is that there are easy ways to take care of your eyes: protection and nutrition.
Believe it or not, shielding the eyes against dust and wind is not enough. There are ways to keep your eyes protected against seemingly normal, but actually harmful instances and habits.
According to research, smokers are more likely to develop the following conditions:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Dry Eye Syndrome
- Macular Degeneration
- Optic Nerve Damage
Wearing Protective Eyewear
Not only to look more fashionable but using the right pair will help shield your eyes against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. When choosing your next pair, opt for one that blocks 99% or 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
When engaging in sports or activities around home/work, it is also recommended to use safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, or eye guards that would provide the correct protection for the activity.
In addition to choosing the protection level, choosing the right colored lens will aid you in whatever activity you will be doing.
- Gray – Perfect for both cloudy and sunny days, provide anti-fatigue benefits and glare protection and are best suited for outdoor activities such as driving and sports like cycling, or tennis.
- Brown – Perfect for sunny conditions, provides comfort and increasing contrast against green landscapes and blue skies, and is great for activities where distance is important such as golfing, and driving.
- Yellow, Orange – Great for hazy, low-light conditions, provides clarity and reduce eye strain while staring at screens, and are used for activities needing to focus such as mountain biking, and hunting.
- Green – Used best for both sunny and low-light environments, provides glare reduction while adding light to shaded areas, great for outdoor use.
- Blue – Great for snowy or sunny conditions, blue lenses reduce glare, improve color perception, and enhance contours around objects, best used for golfing, and water activities.
- Red – Used for snowy conditions, red lenses enhance the depth of field, vision, and driving visibility. These are also a favorite among gamers because of their ability to block blue light, thus reducing eyestrain.
Lessen screen time
Prolonged exposure to screens without proper protection from blue light can damage the eyes. People who are frequently in front of screens usually suffer from eyestrain, blurry vision, difficulty focusing at a distance, and dry eyes.
Should this be unable to become an option, you can do the following instead:
- Ensure that your glasses or contacts are prescriptively up-to-date and suitable for looking at a computer screen.
- Position the top of your monitor to be at your eye level, making you slightly look down at the screen, so your eyes won’t get the full blast of light.
- Try to avoid glare.
- In case of dry eyes, blink more or use artificial tears.
- Rest your eyes every twenty minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
The eyes can easily be taken care of by adjusting your diet, with the following nutrients essential for eye health:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – the human body naturally makes small amounts of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is an important component of the membrane surrounding the body’s cells. DHA levels are especially high in the retina, brain, and sperm cells.
- Vitamin A – helps maintain the cornea clear, helping a great deal in the overall vision. This vitamin is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that enables the eyes to see in low-light conditions.
- Vitamin C – helps protect the eyes against damaging free radicals. Additionally, this vitamin is required to make collagen, a protein that gives structure to the eye, specifically in the cornea and sclera.
- Lutein – an organic pigment called a carotenoid, is thought to function as a light filter, protecting eye tissues from sunlight damage.
- Zinc – is involved in the formation of visual pigments in the retina. Low levels of Zinc may lead to night blindness.
Common Sources of Nutritients
1. Carrots – aid in creating Vitamin A, which leads to preventing corneal scarring, night blindness, and vision loss.
2. Kale, Spinach, or Broccoli – rich in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, acting as a filter and protecting the retina from damaging blue light.
3. Red Peppers – vitamin C helps prevent cataracts and helps your immune system. Vitamin C is also found in oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi.
4. Salmon – packed with Omega 3 fatty acids helps the retina’s visual health and prevents dry eyes. Sardines and Herring are also good Omega 3 sources.
5. Oysters – loaded with Zinc, help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Zinc is also found in turkey, eggs, peanuts, and whole grains.
Maintaining Blood Sugar
90% of blindness secondary to Diabetes is preventable. For Diabetic patients, it is important to be compliant with their medications and have regular checks with their Endocrinologist. Ideally, HbA1c should be less than 7%.
In addition to keeping one’s blood sugar within the recommended goal, managing blood pressure and cholesterol are also important. Blood pressure should be less than 140/90 mmHg for most, but it may differ for certain individuals depending on the set limit by their specialist.
Keeping a Healthy Weight
Several factors play a role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight:
- Having a healthy diet
- Regular physical activity (ex: brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming)
- Optimal sleep
- Managing stress.
Incorporating any of these in your diet will not only help your eyes but also improve your overall body health.
It always pays to be informed.
If you want to learn more about eye health, Medgate’s team of medical experts is only a ring away.