Of the five bodily senses, humans are most reliant on vision – the sense of sight. In fact, 80 percent of all external perceptions are received by our eyes. When you consider just how important vision is to us, do we put enough effort into caring for our vision? There is a tendency to take our eyesight for granted until something goes wrong.
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Here are five key pointers to maintaining optimum eye health.
1. A healthy diet
Just like the rest of your physique, your eyes also respond to a sensible, healthy diet. Type 2 diabetes is presently the leading cause of blindness in adults, and this gives a sense of just how much diet and good eye health are linked.
Apart from maintaining a well-balanced diet, specific nutrients like omega-3 oils and fatty acids, zinc, and a good vitamin balance all appear to contribute to general eye health and help to reduce age-related vision problems. The old wives’ tale of carrots being good for eyesight is true to an extent – it is actually the vitamin A content in carrots that is good for the eyes!
2. Visit your eye doctor regularly
Consider your visits to an eye doctor such as Eye Gallery as being like those regular car services by your mechanic. Routine check-ups can spot a problem developing before it becomes something serious. Just like our body, our eyes change over time, and regular eye exams can also pick up potential diseases such as glaucoma, as well as identifying and correcting common problems like nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).
3. Quit smoking
Most people equate cigarette smoking with lung disease and cancer. Smoking can also lead to eye disease and vision problems, including a condition of greatly reduced vision known Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
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4. Sunglasses and eyewear
For those who spend a good deal of time driving, or simply leading an outdoor lifestyle, investing in quality eyewear that fits the purpose is important. Remember to choose a pair of UV-resistant sunglasses, and bear in mind that polarized sunglasses which reduce glare are not necessarily resistant to damaging UV light. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be damaging to the eyes and can increase the chance of cataracts or macular degeneration.
With the vast range of styles and frames available on the market, you can gain huge benefits in long-term eye health and choose eyewear that suits your mood and style – remember to aim for a lens that blocks as much UV light as possible – ideally 99-100%. For those who work (or play) in a dangerous environment – be safety conscious and ensure the recommended eye safety wear is worn at all times.
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5. Develop good computer screen habits
The increased reliance on computers and mobile phones brings with it a set of problems for the human eye. Most people using screen-based devices in their homes and workplaces will have experienced dry eyes, eye irritation, or eye strain.
- Give your eyes frequent rest breaks – look away from the screen regularly and re-focus on more distant objects.
- Be aware of blinking – concentrating on close-up tasks like reading computer screens and mobile phones actually causes the eye to blink less, which reduces its natural lubrication and cleaning function.
Beware of excessive glare, and try to avoid it.
- If you wear reading glasses, ensure your prescription is regularly checked and updated by your eye doctor.
- If eyestrain persists or becomes excessive, check in with your eye doctor for professional advice.
Here’s looking at you!
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We tend to take our eyesight for granted, despite the fact that we are so reliant on it. Following a few simple pointers can pay off greatly with good eye health for years to come.