We don’t need to be reminded of how important our eyesight is and that we need to take care of it. A 2012 survey by the American Optometric Association reported that more than half of the respondents would rather keep their vision than their memory or ability to walk. We subject ourselves to activities that unknowingly put stress and strain in our eyes. so it is important to be mindful of things we can do to safeguard our vision.
Here are some healthy habits that can help you:
- Fight eye fatigue. Subjecting ourselves to the contrast and glare of our gadgets’ screens can lead to eyestrain which can eventually lead to Computer Vision Syndrome after prolonged use. Although it cannot damage your eyes permanently, Computer Vision Syndrome can lead to discomfort due to its symptoms which include: headache, blurred vision, dry or red eyes, neck pain, double vision and difficulty in refocusing.
- Stop rubbing. Rubbing your eyes can cause eye problems which can both be immediate and long-term. Rubbing your eyes can exacerbate allergies by stimulating the cells that release histamine, which will cause redness and more itching. If you are tempted to rub your eyes, don’t give in! Itchy eyes can be caused by allergies, dry eyes or foreign matter. For allergies, take an antihistamine to treat the allergies first. For dry eyes or foreign matter, try flushing the eyes with lubricating eye drops and try not to touch your eyes.
- Grab your goggles. Eye injuries may occur while working, gardening, playing sports or even while cleaning or cooking. Wear proper eye protection like safety glasses, goggles, eye guards or safety shields.
- UV-protect your eyes. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can cause serious harm to the eyes and can cause premature ageing. It can cause cataracts, cancer, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinal damage. Eyes can also get sunburnt. This condition is called photokeratitis. Protect your eyes from UV exposure by wearing sunglasses with 99% UVA/UVB protection and these days. It’s not hard to find a trendy pair to shield your peepers. Fashion can go hand in hand with function after all.
- Eat for your eyes. Eating the right kind of food can prevent vision impairment. As children, we were taught that vitamin A-rich diet is the key to healthy eyesight. It is true but other nutrients are as important such as lutein and zeaxanthin found in broccoli, zucchini, peas and other dark, leafy vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish meat such as mackerel, salmon and sardines can also decrease your risk of eye disease because of its antioxidant contents which help prevent free radical damage that can cause diseases like AMD.
- Keep clean your make-up brushes. We often overlook make-up brushes as part of our healthy eye routine. Bacteria can accumulate in make-up brushes causing eye infections such as styes, conjunctivitis or sore eyes. Wash your cosmetic brushes once a month by soaking them in mild soap and lukewarm water and avoid sampling make-up at stores with their make-up brushes. Also replace your mascara every four to six months and your eye shadows every year—sooner if they’re liquid or cream-based.
- Exercise for eye health. We all know the many benefits of exercise especially for those who are looking to tone up or slim down and generally staying healthy and happy (energy boosts happy hormones, of course). Eye problems and disease also stem from high levels of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. A combo of healthy diet and regular exercise can help maintain regular blood levels thus ensuring healthy eye sight.
Practice these tips to maintain sharp eye sight for years to come. Just like visiting your dentist for your routine dentals, you can also do your eyes a favor if you get them checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist especially if you are experiencing symptoms such as headache, persistent pain inside or behind your eyes, or gradual loss of vision.