They say your eyes are the 'window to your soul' but most importantly, they are one of your body's vital organs that need a lot of care. So, read on to discover 18 eye care tips.
1. STICK TO A HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET
Your eyes need eye-friendly nutrients to be healthy. Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and zinc prevent serious eye diseases or vision impairments such as night blindness, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Eating a healthy, balanced diet of fruits, nuts, green leafy veggies, and other foods gives you a healthy dose of these nutrients.
2. KEEP UP A HEALTHY WEIGHT
You are usually at risk of diabetes if you are overweight or obese. And diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy or increase your chances of developing glaucoma (which cause blindness). So keep up a healthy weight. Exercise regularly, be physically active and eat a low-calorie diet.
3. EXERCISE REGULARLY
You can control and prevent certain diseases or conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol when you exercise regularly. These diseases or conditions cause eye diseases or vision impairments. For instance, glaucoma is most caused by high eye pressure damaging the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Therefore, engaging in some physical activity puts these eye problems at bay.
4. WEAR SUNGLASSES
Overexposure to the sun causes eye damage. It also puts you at a greater risk of developing cataracts, pterygium and age-related macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes by blocking out 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays.
5. PUT ON PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR
Apart from wearing sunglasses, you also need to have protective eyewear on. While playing sports or working in a factory or at a construction site, or fixing stuff at home, protective eyewear will prevent eye injuries.
6. QUIT SMOKING
Not only does smoking cause heart diseases and lung cancer, but it also has vision loss on its list. Many studies prove that smoking increases your risk of many eye diseases. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than nonsmokers. Heavy smokers are also at a greater risk of cataracts than nonsmokers. Besides, smoking increases blood pressure which puts you at risk of developing glaucoma. Smoking also increases your chances of getting diabetes which can lead to diabetic retinopathy. In addition, the symptoms of dry eye syndrome are also made worse when you smoke.
7. FIND OUT YOUR FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY
Eye diseases such as glaucoma, colour blindness and night blindness are hereditary. Chances are that if a relative such as a parent has an eye disease, you can also develop it. You need to find out which eye diseases are in your family's medical history. That way, you can take the necessary precautions, such as regular eye screening, to prevent them.
8. FIND OUT OTHER RISK FACTORS
Apart from hereditary, other risk factors for eye disease are age, smoking, drinking and diet. For instance, ageing puts you at risk of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, knowing these risk factors helps you to adjust your lifestyle to reduce your risks.
9. BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS IF YOU WEAR CONTACTS
Your contact lenses can be breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause eye infections. Clean them regularly and as per the manufacturer's instructions. Do also wash your hands before you put them on or take them off.
10. GIVE YOUR EYES A BREAK
You need to cut down on screen time if you are always on your computer or smartphone. Looking at the screen for a long time without blinking tires out the eyes. But if having less screen time is difficult, observe the 20-20-20 rule. So what you do is, every 20 minutes, you look away from your monitor and fix your eyes on an object that is about 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
11. DON'T RUB YOUR EYES
Rubbing your eyes is a bad habit you must stop if you want to keep your eyes healthy. It is easy to transfer dirt, dust, and bacteria on our hands to our eyes when we rub them. This can make us prone to certain eye infections such as infectious conjunctivitis or pink eye.
12. WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN
You have to wash your hands for obvious reasons; to protect your eyes, contact lenses or eyeglasses from bacteria.
13. STAY HYDRATED
Your body needs water to function, and so do your eyes. Make sure you up your daily water intake. It will at least keep dry, irritated eyes at bay.
14. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
To keep your peepers refreshed and healthy, make sure you have at least seven hours of sleep every day. Just like any part of your body, the cells in our eyes get rejuvenated while we sleep.
15. KEEP YOUR MONITOR AT A GOOD DISTANCE
Your monitor should be at an arm's length from your eyes and 20 degrees below your eye level. That way, you can prevent straining your eyes while working with your computer.
16. HAVE ENOUGH ROOM LIGHTING
The lighting in your room should be enough and diffused. Avoid focused and very bright lights, which can put a strain on your eyes.
17. KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN
Tidy up your home regularly to keep dust and dirt at bay. These can irritate your eyes. Do also de-clutter and keep clean your workstation at the office and any other place you spend most of your time.
18. BE EXTRA CAUTIOUS WITH EYE MAKEUP
Stick to brands of eye makeup that do not contain harmful ingredients that can irritate your eyes. That said, avoid mascaras, eyeliners and eye shadows that contain parabens, talc, fragrances, colour additives and sulphates as these pose a risk to eye health.
Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician concerning anything you have read here.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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