Eye health is something that many of us take for granted and we all expect by the time we it our senior years, most of us will have some form of vision deterioration and will need to wear glasses. But there are number of things that we can all do to ensure that our eyes remain as close to perfect as possible. Take a look at our “Five Dock Eyecare tips for healthy eyes” checklist:
Eat for your eye health
Our eyes need a few important nutrients to ensure that they function well and regenerate while we sleep. Choose quality eye-healthy foods like citrus fruit, dark leafy greens, and whole grains. Try to incorporate foods that are rich in zinc such as beans, peas, peanuts, oysters, lean red meat, and poultry as the zinc will help eyes resist light damage. Oh, and if you’re are wondering about the wives’ tale that tells us carrots improve eyesight? It is actually true! The vitamin A in carrots is important for great vision. Some of the other nutrients that keep your eyes healthy include beta-carotene which are found in yellow or orange fruits and veggies, and lutein and zeaxanthin which come in leafy greens and colorful produce.
Wear your sunglasses
UV radiation will damage your eyes just like it does to your skin. This damage will eventually cause problems like cataracts, cornea burns, and even cancer of the eyelid and eyeball. Regardless if its sunny or cloudy – wear sunglasses or contacts that block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Protective lenses don’t have to be expensive – see your friendly Five Dock Eyecare team to find the best shades for you. It’s always helpful to wear a hat as this will block more of the UV reflection. Snow, water, sand, and concrete all can reflect UV rays so always have those sunnies handy to protect your eye health.
Take a 20-second break from your screen
Eye strain is a very real and counter-productive effect that comes looking at a screen for long periods of time. Although it won’t hurt your eyes, it can make them feel tired and dry, and does nothing for productivity. More interesting is that we blink about half as often when we look at a screen. In order to minimise this problem and improve eye health, get into the habit of following the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Screen placement is also important. Place your screen so it’s about 50cm away and slightly below eye level. Always ensure the light source is good and always use a screen filter.
Clean your contact lenses
Keep your eyes healthy by taking care of your contacts. Wash your hands every time before handling lenses and only use cleaners and drops approved by your optometrist. Clean, rinse, and dry the case each time you remove the lenses, and replace it every two to three months. You should never wear lenses when you’re swimming, using cleaning products like bleach or while you sleep. Try not to wear your contact lenses longer than recommended.
Know your family health history
A number of unrelated health conditions can affect your eyes. Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can reduce blood flow to the eyes. Immune system disorders in the lungs, thyroid glands, or elsewhere can inflame eyes, too. Other threats include multiple sclerosis, aneurysms, and cancer. Tell your optometrist about any current or past health issues, including family members with eye problems or serious illnesses.
Throw away your old eye makeup
Old makeup is a haven for bacteria! Always throw out products after three months and try not to drop your products on the floor or leave them exposed on the bathroom bench. If you develop an eye infection, immediately get rid of all your eye makeup and see a doctor or your optometrist. Don’t ever be tempted to share cosmetics and don’t use store samples. Clean your face thoroughly before and after using makeup, and don’t apply cosmetics inside lash lines.
Get your eyes checked regularly
You should get your eyes checked regularly, even if you don’t wear glasses. Every two years is usually sufficient if you are aged between 18-60, or every year if you’re older, wear contact lenses, or have risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease. Children should also have their eyes tested regularly to ensure that they can see and learn at optimum levels.
If you smoke, stop now – it is critical for your eye health. Smoking means a dramatic increase in incidence of macular degeneration as well as raising your risk of developing cataracts and dry eyes. It also weakens arteries in your body and the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. Smoking also raises your risk of a heart attack and is damaging to the retina which causes vision loss. The good news is that after you quit, your risk of eye disease is about the same as for non-smokers. See your doctor to help start your quit campaign and see your optometrist to know if your eyes have any damage.