Written By Katie Pierce / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 12 million people in the U.S. have a visual impairment. Don’t be part of that statistic.
It’s important to pay attention to eye health now, as it’s the only way to avoid age-related eye problems down the road. By caring for your eyes, you can avoid developing eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration over time.
Eye problems can be prevented if you practice the habits we have outlined below.
#1 The 20-20-20 Rule
Do you continuously stare at the computer screen? Screen time can cause eye strain, so be sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule every time you’re on your computer or smartphone. Every 20 minutes, take a break and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Why 20 seconds? That’s the amount of time it takes your eyes to rest.
Sit far away from your screen, too. As a rule of thumb, the screen should be at least 25 inches away. The screen should also be a bit lower than your eye level. This helps prevent eye strain, as you’ll have to tilt your eyes downward every time you stare at the screen.
#2 Drink Water
If your eyes feel dry, the likely cause is your lack of water. The fluid around your eyes needs to be lubricated for it to be able to wash away dirt, dust, and other debris. If you fail to drink water, your eyes won’t be able to combat these foreign bodies, and you will get something in your eye.
Your eyes will also start to feel tired, and if left untreated, you’ll eventually develop vision issues such as double vision.
Your doctor has said it before, but we’ll say it again — drink water. The solution is as straightforward as that. To make sure your eyes are well-lubricated, be sure to drink about eight glasses of water a day.
#3 Use Eye Drops
If you suffer from dry eyes, an infection, or irritation, eye drops can offer you the relief you need. Eye drops work wonders — not only do they get rid of the dirt and dust that has gotten into your eye, but they also work as lubricants.
It’s worth mentioning that while over-the-counter eye drops are safe to use, they cannot treat serious eye conditions. It would be best to consult your doctor to be certain that you’re dealing with your eye problems the ideal way. If you see floaters, suffer from eye secretions, or have sudden vision loss, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor ASAP.
#4 Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
Even if you think you don’t have vision issues, you should still visit your eye doctor every two years. By going for a regular eye check-up, you can catch — and correct — eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucomas, and more before it’s too late.
However, if you suffer from sudden eye pain or if your vision starts to blur, you shouldn’t wait for the two-year mark. Make the time to see your eye doctor ASAP. This could indicate a more serious condition that needs immediate treatment.
#5 Don’t Wear Your Contacts For Too Long
Contacts are safe to wear, but they shouldn’t be worn for more than 12 hours a day. Allow your eyes to “breathe" by removing your contact lenses every time you go to bed. If you wear your contacts while you sleep, this can cause dry eyes, redness, and infections. What’s worse is that it can even result in permanent vision loss.
If you wear contacts, care for them properly. Never cleanse your contacts with water - not even bottled water - because this can cause infections. Water can also alter the shape of the contact lenses and this can scratch your corneas.
#6 Eat Nutritious Food
Don’t forget to eat your greens! Fill your plate with food that’s rich in nutrients such as omega-3, vitamin C, A, and E, and lutein. These foods fight against age-related vision issues such as macular degeneration. When you eat a well-balanced diet, you lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy, the main cause of blindness in American adults.
For good eyesight, fill your plate with these food options:
- Fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.
- Fruits that are rich in vitamin C, such as lemons and oranges
- Leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
- Nuts and legumes such as almonds, black beans, and kidney beans
#7 Throw Away Old Eye Makeup
Did you know that your eye makeup can contain germs? A study by Aston University found that about 90 percent of cosmetic products are contaminated with germs, such as E. coli and Staphylococci. This is precisely why you should throw away your makeup — particularly eye makeup like mascara — every three months.
If you continue to use makeup that harbors germs, you’ll be at risk of eye infections like eyelid dermatitis and keratitis. Your mascara can also enter your eye, causing redness, inflammation, and more.
#8 Don’t Smoke
Do you smoke? Stop now to save yourself from serious eye issues. Smokers are twice as likely to undergo age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than non-smokers.
And that’s not all — smokers are also two to three times more likely to suffer from cataracts. Not only is smoke an irritant, but it can damage the blood vessels and cause vision problems.
The Bottom Line
Don’t neglect your eyes — after all, you only get one pair for life. By practicing the tips outlined above, you can protect your eyesight and see the world through a crystal-clear lens. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your eyesight stays sharp regardless of your age.
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Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning.
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.