10 Vision Care Tips You Should Know About
At Vision Direct, we understand that eyes are more than just windows to the soul. They are mediums through which we perceive the world around us, delighting in its many wonders. So we decided to share some tips on how to safeguard and nurture this great gift.
1. A Good Diet and Healthy Eyes Go Hand in Hand
Eating and following a balanced diet is a crucial aspect of keeping the eyes healthy. Numerous studies have shown that nutrients such as Vitamins A, C and E, as well as zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, reduce the risk of eye diseases.
We highly recommend vegetables in your diet such as carrots. There’s a good reason why carrots and eye health are often mentioned in the same sentence. The reason being is that carrots are rich in Vitamin A which is useful for turning light rays into the images we see. Furthermore, Vitamin A helps keep the eyes moist.
2. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Did you know that your eyes are affected by your weight? Obesity increases the risk of diabetes which in turn, can lead to problems like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. Diabetes is, in fact, the main reason for blindness among adults aged 20-74.
3. Exercise Regularly
It may be difficult to fathom how exercise promotes eye health, but you are not alone; scientists are still trying to gain a complete understanding of how exercise contributes to eye health. Suffice it to say, studies have shown that exercise protects against the overgrowth of eye vessels in the eye, which are linked to eye conditions such as neovascular glaucoma, age macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.
Exercising regularly for just 30 minutes a day can go a long way in ensuring your eyes remain healthy.
4. Wear High-Quality Sunglasses
Sunglasses should be a part of every person's toolkit. Ultraviolet rays (UV), the radiation energy produced by the sun are harmful to the cornea and lens of the eye. Without sufficient care, as time passes, the damage from UV rays will cause cataracts, AMD and other conditions that may deprive you of your vision.
Invest in a pair of sunglasses, and remember the price doesn’t necessarily equate to protection. You want to look for glasses that either have a sticker that says “100 percent UV protection” or “UV absorption up to 400 nm”. Don’t settle for less than 100 percent.
5. Wear Protective Eyewear in High-Risk Environments
It is not uncommon for eye injuries to happen at the workplace. Chemicals, foreign objects, scratches among others, are a long list of injuries sending people to hospitals for treatment.
These types of injuries can be prevented with the right type of eye protection, especially in high-risk environments such as construction, manufacturing, health care and more.
Be sure to match your chosen protective eyewear with the environment you intend to use it in.
6. Avoid Smoking
Smoking causes diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer, but what most people don’t know is that smoking can lead to loss of vision.
Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD compared to non-smokers. If that is not enough of a warning, consider this: heavy smokers are three more times prone to developing cataracts; smoking is also linked to diabetic retinopathy, and smokers are three more times more likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome.
7. Learn your family medical history
Understanding your family history is an important aspect of protecting your eyes. Just as you would tell your doctor about hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anaemia or muscular dystrophy, so should you inform your optometrist or ophthalmologist about any eye diseases in your family line.
Many hereditary eye diseases don’t show symptoms until much later in life, others may progress with nary a sign. Armed with this information, your doctor will be able to tailor treatment plans that may halt eye diseases in their cradle or at least slow them down.
8. Identify your Risk Factors
People from Asia, Africa or the Caribbean are at more risk of developing Glaucoma. Cataracts are commonly found in adults, however, prolonged use of steroids, smoking, excessive drinking and diabetes also increase the risk of cataracts developing. People with sensitivity to chemicals found in makeup or with skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea are more likely to develop blepharitis.
We mention these risk factors because understanding your risk factors and making necessary changes lowers the risk of contracting debilitating eye diseases.
9. If You Wear Contacts, Practice Proper Eye Care
Contact lenses provide a convenient alternative for visual correction, however, without the proper care, they can lead to serious eye infections.
Taking the proper precautions when using them such as washing your hands before handling them or regularly cleaning them with contact lens solution reduces the chances of harmful bacteria entering the eye and causing complications.
So, be sure to follow the proper steps as prescribed by your optometrist to fully enjoy the comfort and benefits contact lenses provide.
10. Give Your Eyes a Break
In a world saturated with blue lights - in our phones, our computers, our television, it pays to give the eyes much needed rest. Blue light is connected to problems like blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eye, AMD and cataracts.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule which follows that for every 20 minutes using a digital screen, 20 seconds should be spent looking 20 feet away to give the eyes a rest.
Vision care shouldn’t be treated as a secondary concern, it should be taken with all the same due attention we give to caring for what we eat and drink, what we wear - essentially how we care for the rest of our bodies.
We hope these 10 tips will equip you with the right knowledge to give your eyes the treatment they deserve.