Good vision can be important to your quality of life, so you want the best vision possible at every stage. As a baby, sight is the main way you learn about the world around you. Throughout your life, your vision helps you navigate and receive information about your surroundings. Sight is a key component in communication. However, as you age, it can be difficult to maintain optimal vision and eye health. These tips can help.
Detect disease early with a comprehensive exam. This means getting your pupils dilated. The appointment may take longer than your typical annual vision check, but it is painless. Moreover, it is the only way to detect certain conditions such as glaucoma, and early detection is often the key to effective treatment. Dilated exams are particularly important if your family has a history of eye disease, if you have diabetes or if you are overweight.
Keep Your Glasses Current
If you wear corrective lenses, have your vision checked yearly. Get new lenses as necessary, even for small changes in your visual acuity. When you cannot see properly, your eyes are always straining, which can cause headaches and fatigue. Getting new glasses every year can get pricey, but annual lens replacement is quite affordable - and protecting your eyesight is priceless.
You know you need sunblock for your skin, but your eyes need protection as well. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes in several ways, such as leading to cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. This is especially true for people with low levels of melanin, often evidenced by light skin and blue eyes. Choose lenses that block both UVA and UVB radiation for the most complete coverage. Glasses that wrap around your head will guard against rays coming in from the sides. Remember that your eyes need protection even on cloudy days.
Research has shown that certain nutrients contribute to healthy eyes; among them are lutein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E. Get these nutrients by eating plenty of eggs, beans, spinach, citrus fruits, tuna, salmon and kale. You may be pleased to learn that occasional drinking - no more than two glasses for men, one for women - may actually be better for your eyes than never drinking at all.
As if the damage to your lungs and heart was not enough, smoking can harm your eyes as well. Your optic nerve, the main connection between your eyes and your brain, can become damaged by tobacco use. Smoking also increases your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Uveitis, in which a layer of eye tissue suddenly becomes inflamed, can lead to permanent loss of vision. A major cause of uveitis is smoking cigarettes. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, quit as soon as possible.
Your eyes are organs, so your general health naturally affects your eye health as well. Getting adequate activity can help you avoid high blood pressure and other conditions that can lead to eye problems. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, plus strength training twice a week. Avoid sitting for hours at a time; if you have a desk job, take short breaks each hour. Even short bursts of activity can add up and help reduce the negative effects of being sedentary.
Limit Screen Time
Staring at your computer screen for hours a day may be good for your job, but it can be bad for your eyes. Excessive screen time can result in dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches. The strain can extend beyond your eyes, causing tension in your neck, shoulders and back. Your screen should be placed so that you are looking slightly down at it from approximately two feet away, with no glare. Remember the rule of 20: every 20 minutes, focus on something at least 20 feet away for a period of 20 seconds or longer. If eye strain continues to be a problem, ask your optometrist about prescription computer glasses.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.