There are several things you can do in your daily life to ensure your eyes stay in the best shape possible. About 2.2 billion people around the world have vision impairment, and in approximately half of those cases, eye issues could have been prevented. In many ways, your eye health is in your own hands.
We’ve compiled a list of simple tips you can and should incorporate into your life, for the sake of protecting and preserving your vision. These practices will not only serve your sight, but they will bolster your overall health, too.
H2: 10 tips for strong eye health
Even playtime and extra curricular activities employ numerous vision skills. Plus, as children get older, more is demanded of their vision, as textbook fonts become smaller, and time allotted to reading increases in later grades.
1. Eat a balanced diet
The old adage, “you are what you eat,” has truth to it when it comes to eye health. Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for general well-being, but it also expressly benefits ocular health. Consuming a diet rich with nutrients—including omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E—has shown to improve eye health, while staving off various eye-related ailments, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Plus, eating a balanced diet will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes—which is the leading cause of blindness.
Some foods, in particular, have shown to benefit eye health, including:
● Dark, leafy green (such as kale and spinach)
● Salmon and other fatty fish
● Red peppers
● Nuts and seeds
● Sweet potatoes
● Lean protein sources
2. Wear sunglasses
While sunglasses are often worn for style purposes, more importantly, they protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive exposure to these rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and photokeratitis—otherwise known as sunburned eyes. There are countless sunglass varieties to choose from, but picking a pair that blocks at least 99% of the UVA and UVB rays is key.
3. Protect your eyes
Beyond wearing sunglasses, protective gear is sometimes necessary, depending on what activities you’re engaging in. Whether you’re playing a contact sport—such as ice hockey or lacrosse—or cutting wood, there are certain scenarios where wearing safety goggles or glasses is an absolute must. Polycarbonate lenses will protect your eyes from dangerous debris, airborne particles, and harsh contact with others.
4. Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Spending much of the day staring at a computer screen or book is a fact of life in 2022, which is why it’s more important than ever to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This eyecare tactic stipulates that every 20 minutes, you should focus on an object approximately 20 feet away, for a span of at least 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a much needed opportunity to rest, and avoid eyestrain, dry eyes and blurry vision. Setting boundaries when it comes to screen time is as important for your mental health as it is for your eye health.
5. Stop smoking
There is no shortage of reasons why you should stop smoking, but protecting your vision is undoubtedly one of them. Smokers have a higher chance of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as countless other diseases that lead to vision loss.
Just as eating well can benefit your eye health, so, too can exercising. Being overweight puts you at higher risk for developing diabetes, which can affect your eyes. Regular cardio activty has proven to strengthen vision, as these exercises can lower intraocular pressure and increase the flow of blood to the optic nerve.
7. Get fresh air
Believe it or not, something as simple as getting fresh air can do wonders for protecting your eye health. A short stroll outside can relax your eye muscles, as you focus on things further away than your screen or cellphone. Plus, going outside and getting fresh air can reduce stress which can lessen chances of getting stress-related eye conditions like central serous retinopathy
8. Stay sanitary
Whether you’re a contact lens wearer or not, it’s important to keep your eyes clean. That means avoiding rubbing them, removing eye makeup before bed, replacing products every three months, and washing your hands before touching your face.
Book a comprehensive eye exam for your child today at an FYidoctors clinic near you.
9. Use artificial tears when needed
Hydration is essential for maintaining optimal eye health. Just as applying moisturizer to your skin is important for maintaining moisture, hydrating your eyes is essential for the same reason. If you frequently experience dry eyes, get yourself some artificial tears, and make sure to apply them regularly.
10. Book regular eye exams
We’ve saved the most important tip for last. The best way to look after your eyes is to leave it in the hands of a professional, and book regular comprehensive eye exams. Your eye doctor will detect problems before they become something serious, and they will make sure you are seeing as clearly as possible. Book a comprehensive eye exam today at a Visique clinic near you.
Plus, as the new year is fast approaching, don’t forget to use your remaining benefits to get your vision checked, so you can start the new year with fresh eyes—and perhaps a fresh pair of frames or sunnies, too. You deserve it!