Back in the day, bad eyesight was something older adults experienced at ages 40 and 50. However, today you will see teenagers and children as small as ten years wearing high-numbered glasses. Reading in dim light and spending hours in front of computers, tablets, and smartphones can significantly weaken eye health. Soon enough, you will not be able to read menus and newspapers and not see street signs clearly.
Even though prescription glasses and contact lenses can be used for weaker eyesight, there are ways to keep your vision strong and healthy. Here are some ways to improve eye health:
A Balanced Diet
As children, we might have felt annoyed when our parents constantly stressed the importance of a good diet. However, a good diet is also associated with stronger eyesight, so it seems like they were correct, right?
It is important to choose foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin A and C. Incorporating foods like leafy greens, vegetables, and fish is essential. Fatty fish such as salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that keep the central vision of the eye healthy and functioning.
An inadequate diet, overconsumption of alcohol and saturated fats can harm the macula- the central piece of the eye. Moreover, diets that are high in carbs and fats can restrict blood flow and block arteries. Since the eye is dependent on blood vessels, this can directly affect the eyesight.
To prevent macular degeneration, here are some fruits, vegetables, and vitamins that you must take daily:
- Red peppers
- Vitamin A
- Sweet Potato
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, are great for improving eyesight. These are carotenoids that can be found in the retina. Leafy vegetables, including broccoli, zucchini, and eggs, also contain these nutrients.
Carotenoids are great for protecting the macula as they improve pigment density and resist damage from blue light and ultraviolet rays.
Did you know that exercise can not only help you maintain a healthy body and waistline but can also help with your eyesight? Type 2 diabetes, most common in overweight individuals, is responsible for damaging the tiny blood vessels found in the eyes, hence weakening eyesight.
Also known as diabetic retinopathy, this happens when a high amount of sugar found in the blood causes harm to the arteries’ vulnerable walls. This condition causes the sensitive part located at the back of the eye to leak some fluid. This fluid then goes into the eye, causing weak vision and blindness.
As human beings, we tend to take things for granted. This includes our body and our eyesight. However, it is important to protect ourselves. For example, wearing protective eyewear when working in the garage, playing racquetball, or doing a science experiment is crucial.
If you think you will be exposed to chemicals, sharp objects, wood shavings, metal shards, or if you think you could get hurt while playing basketball, make sure to protect yourself.
When choosing protective goggles, opt for polycarbonate. This is tougher than other kinds of plastic usually found in the market.
While sunglasses are definitely a fashion statement, they are also the first step you need to take when protecting your eyesight. When shopping for shades, it is vital to get those that block out 99 to 100 percent of harmful UVB and UVA radiation from the sunlight.
If you do not wear sunglasses, you might think that nothing will happen. However, over time, cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium (growth on the white bit of the eye) will start to form. These conditions will damage your eyesight and cause blurred vision.
If you do not like wearing sunglasses, you can also opt for a hat with a wide-brim. Remember, the aim is to keep your eyes safe from the sunlight.
You might be glued to your laptop or smartphone all day. While this may not make a difference immediately, you will start to experience weak eyesight in the long run. To prevent this and to ensure healthy eyesight, you need to take a break after every hour of exposure.
This means that after 20 minutes of constant exposure, you must look away from your screen and spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away.
Say No to Smoking
Not only is smoking terrible for your heart and lungs, but it also weakens your eyesight and harms your hair, teeth, skin, and other body parts. Individuals who smoke are more likely to develop cataracts and age-caused macular degeneration.
If you smoke, it is not too late to quit. The sooner you quit, the more chances your eyes, lungs, and heart recovering from years of tobacco harm. Quitting smoking sooner will also reduce inflammation in the body, encouraging eye health.
Clean Hands and Lenses
Our hands always have germs and infections on them since we cannot avoid touching things. However, if the hands touch the eyes, this can transfer infections and cause blurry vision. Hence, before you touch your eyes or contact lenses, it is important to wash and sanitize your hands.
Moreover, disinfecting your contact lenses is also crucial. Based on the instructions given by your eye doctor, you must replace your contact lenses now and then. Remember, they too have a certain life. Overusing your lenses can cause bacterial infections, which will affect your vision and irritate your eyes and cause pain.
You may not have thought that your diet, lifestyle, and hygiene had much to do with your eye health. However, the truth is that the way you lead your life affects your eyesight. Remember to always protect your eyes from the sun from an early age and always consult a professional before using any eye ointments. They may cause more harm than good.