Healthy eyes make a big difference in your life. Whether you are watching your daughter play baseball or enjoying an early morning sunrise while running, her eyes strive to show you what is going on around her. There are many practices that you can incorporate into your life to keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision.
Here are 15 simple habits for healthy eyesight.
How can lifelong eye wellness be promoted?
1 – Sunglasses
It is tempting to want to reach for the cute sunglasses that are all the rage right now. But that shouldn’t be your only criteria when shopping for sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Ultraviolet rays or radiation from the sun can damage the eyes, lens, and cornea. Certain eye conditions develop due to overexposure to the sun, such as cataracts and perhaps even macular degeneration. Your sunglasses should block at least 75% to 90% of the sunlight. The lens should not have any foreign imperfections that can distort your vision. A gray lens is supposed to be better at seeing colors correctly, but usually the lens color doesn’t matter for protection. Choose wrap-around sunglasses or a fitted style with wide lenses for the best protection. If you are at the beach, wearing a hat along with sunglasses adds more protection for your eyes.
2 – Eat a healthy diet
It’s easy to forget how important your diet is to all parts of your body, and your eyes are no exception. Eating a healthy diet rich in minerals and vitamins will make the difference between whether your eyes are healthy or not. Over time, poor diet will come back to haunt you with eye disease and other health problems. To keep your eyes healthier, add these foods to your diet.
Dark green leafy vegetables:
Eat dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens for vitamin C and folic acid.
Oily fish is high in omega 3. Studies show that eating lots of Omega 3-rich fatty acids can protect your eyes from eye conditions like macular degeneration and dry eye disease. Choose oily fish for the highest levels of Omega 3, including:
- lake trout
- Blue fish tuna
Nuts and seeds:
High in Omega 3 and Vitamin E, these tasty little bites are great for salads or sandwiches. Choose nuts and seeds like
- Flax seeds
- chia seeds
Carrots and sweet potatoes:
Orange vegetables are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. That is why they are orange. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for the eyes that helps the retina absorb light properly.
Eggs They are a great source of lutein, which helps reduce eye diseases.
3 – Stop smoking
Smoking increases the chances of developing macular degeneration or cataracts. Smoking also makes your blood vessels narrow, leading to inadequate blood flow to your eyes and other parts of your body. This makes you susceptible to strokes and high blood pressure, which affect your eyes.
4 – Exercise
Staying physically active reduces the risk of heart problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, which affect your vision. Exercise increases blood flow by sending oxygen to parts of your body, including your eyes. You will have better cardiovascular health, which is important for good eye health.
5 – Safety glasses or goggles
When you are at work, playing sports, or doing home repair projects, remember to wear protective glasses. It may seem like a hassle to put them on, but an injury to your eyes could damage them and change your life. It’s not worth the risk to your eyes for a little inconvenience, like wearing safety glasses or goggles.
6 – Risk of normal age
Aging carries some risks, especially for the eyes. As you get older, you are more likely to have eye problems due to regular wear and tear on your eyes, genes, and other things like sun exposure or your workplace. If your general health is good, you will be less prone to future eye problems.
7 – Rest your eyes
Your eyes work hard all day. If you use a computer or smartphone during the day, be sure to give your eyes a break during the day. The general rule of thumb is to take a break every 20 minutes to look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break from staring at a screen all day. In addition to reducing eyestrain, these breaks can help reduce headaches caused by overuse of the screen.
8 – Good care of contacts
If you wear contact lenses, always wash your hands when removing them or putting them in your eyes. Keep contact lenses properly disinfected and do not wear them more than you are supposed to. At the first sign of irritation, itching, or pain, call your eye doctor for a checkup. You could have an infection.
9 – Regular Eye Exams
Taking good care of your eyes is important, just like taking care of your body: schedule regular follow-up exams, especially an exam looking for eye diseases. Your ophthalmologist will dilate your eyes to look for signs of disease. Even if your eyes feel healthy, you may have eye problems. Catching it early could be the difference between saving your vision.
10 – Adjust the brightness of your computer screen
Using a computer all day can affect your eyes. But taking frequent breaks and adjusting the brightness of your computer screen will help prevent eyestrain. Keep the brightness level as low as possible without squinting. Turn on some lights in the room, unless there are windows for natural light. Having a backlight reduces glare from your computer screen.
11 – Don’t get too close
Keep a safe distance from your computer, phone, or television. It is suggested that you keep your computer at a minimum distance of 20 to 40 inches from your face and eyes. Hold your phone 15-20 inches away. Using these devices at a closer distance can cause eyestrain.
12 – Don’t let your eyes dry out
When your eyes get too dry, they are susceptible to infection, blurred vision, or double vision. Blink as often as you can. If needed, buy over-the-counter eye drops that add moisture to your eyes.
13 – Wash your hands
Your hands can harbor germs and bacteria. Always wash your hands before touching your eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses. Use soap and warm water, and be sure to rinse your hands thoroughly. Washing your hands can prevent eye infections such as pink eye and even prevent colds, flu, or Covid from entering your body.
14 – Limit the use of tablets, smartphones and computers
Try to keep your eyes away from your devices as often as possible. Get out and about for a walk, enjoy the natural light and colors of nature all around you. Your devices emit waves of blue light that can damage your eyes over time. Some people suggest that you take lutein and zeaxanthin supplements to protect your eyes from exposure to blue light.
15 – Be careful with your eye makeup
Eye makeup is safe to wear as long as you remove it every night before bed. Also, check the expiration dates on your eye makeup and throw away anything that has expired, even if it looks good. Keep brushes and wands clean. Never share your eye makeup with anyone. This is a safe way to get or transmit an eye infection.
What other things contribute to your risk for eye disease?
As you age, you naturally become susceptible to some eye diseases. Also, you may have certain genetic tendencies in your family that put you at higher risk for eye problems. Eye disease risks also include:
- Being being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of an eye disease.
- Be African American, Hispanic, or Native American
Other health conditions that cause eye problems include:
- High blood pressure
- Lymes disease
- Autoimmune conditions
- Liver disease
- Sickle cell disease
If you don’t know if your elderly family had eye problems, be sure to ask older members about this. They can be a gold mine of information to find common eye diseases in your family.
There is nothing better than seeing a beautiful painting or watching the sunset over the ocean. Taking care of your vision ensures that you will be able to see these things for a long time. There are many ways to keep your eyes healthy. These 15 tips provide everything you need to know to keep your eyes safe, well nourished, and infection free.
Practice healthy habits like washing your hands before touching your eyes and wearing safety glasses. Keep up with your regular eye exams and don’t forget to ask your grandmother about a family history of eye disease. Start practicing good habits to promote healthy eyes today. You’ll be glad you did for the rest of your life.