Even as we become increasingly health conscious as a society, the need to maintain eye health continues to be underemphasized. Following some simple guidelines for eye care can ensure that you guard your eyesight from unnecessary damage and can help to detect and treat problems early. However, these efforts are only effective if the individual has eliminated dangerous lifestyle choices like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and high fat or high sugar diets. All the vitamins, health screenings and protective eyewear in the world cannot counteract these health detriments.
First, much like the body the eyes benefit from a diet rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C and E, the B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin. These essential vitamins can be found in a variety of proteins, fruits and vegetables such as; cold water fish, eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, avocados, oranges, tomatoes, red/ green peppers to name a few. Including these foods and other red and green vegetables in your diet will go a long way to protecting your eye health and your general health. It is also a good idea to consider taking a vitamin supplement to help support your attempts to fulfill your vitamin intake from fresh foods. There are a number of supplements that are formulated specifically for eye health that you can add to your daily supplement routine. This is of particular importance if you know that you have a family history of degenerative eye disease, which leads us to the next guideline.
Next, regular eye exams should be part of your overall health maintenance schedule. Although bi-annual eye exams are not recommended until your 40’s and are necessary only once in your 20’s and twice in your 30’s, these eye exams screen for Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Degeneration and can detect them very early, even before the onset of other symptoms. However, if you have a family history of these diseases your eye doctor may recommend a more frequent exam schedule. These exams can also detect other health issues like high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. It is critical that individuals understand the difference between eye exams and vision screenings. Eye exams take place in an Ophthalmologist or Optometrists office and involve a series of tests to test both eye health and vision performance. Vision screenings can take place in a retail eyeglass store or your family doctor’s office and are used to detect vision problems.
Give it a Rest
Next, taking steps to minimize eyestrain by limiting time in front of a computer or video games can make a huge difference in eye comfort and eye health. Staring at small font or images on a computer screen and staring for hours at a time can tax your vision and many people begin to develop symptoms such as eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, neck and back aches and dry eyes, just to name a few. There are a few steps you can take to help prevent these issues. Remembering to take hourly breaks where you focus on distant objects, increasing the font size or magnification on your computer, ensuring you have proper lighting (from the side not above or behind your computer), placing reference documents next to your computer screen and positioning your computer screen approximately eight inches below your sight line will all help prevent eye strain.
Wear some Shades
Finally, wearing protective eyewear is crucial to eye safety and eye health. Sunglasses with 100 percent UVA/UVB protection are required gear for any outdoor activity but particularly those that involve strong glare from water or snow. Long-term exposure to sunlight has been linked to macular degeneration and cataracts and sunglasses and a hat are your best lines of defense against this damage. Further, wearing protective eyewear while working with wood, chemicals, or even household projects that involve the chance that debris can fly or splash into your eyes is an almost effortless way to ensure that you protect your vision. Finally, while playing sports is also a good idea to consider protective eyewear. A significant percentage of eye injuries involve sporting activities, particularly in children, and there have been great advances in the comfort and aesthetics of sport-related eyewear. Investing in eye-safety equipment should be a part of your uniform.
Your eyes and your vision are both powerful and fragile gifts and with a small amount of effort and consideration they will continue to serve you for a lifetime.
This is a guest post from Brett Oliveira. Brett works with BuyMoreContacts.com where you can find discount contact lenses online in a variety of brands including Acuvue Oasys, Biofinity, and Purevision.