Our eyes are our portals to the world. It is the primary sense that most of us experience the world through, and it is incredibly important. Today, with artificial lighting, computers, tablets, Smart Phones, and other electronic devices, we are putting the strain on our eyes at an unprecedented level. Many people regularly experience eye strain, and more and more people are in need of glasses or other corrective measures for their eyes.
The eyes are incredibly important and once our eyesight is gone, it doesn’t come back. We are not at the whim of chance when it comes to our eye health, though. We have a lot of control over our eye health, and there are many things that we can do to aid in improving our eye health and protecting ourselves against the risk of damaging our eyes unnecessarily. You only get the one set of eyes, so it is imperative that we appropriately care for one of our most valuable assets.
What follows are a few great ways that you can improve your eye health and help to protect against further or future damage to the eyes:
Don’t Smoke (or Quit!)
Smoking is just all around bad news. If you needed more reason to quit (or never to start), there is a high correlation between tobacco use and long-term eye issues. Smokers are more likely to develop cataracts, have macular degeneration, and even damage to the optic nerve. Smoking, among other things, also constricts blood flow, which can cause eye strain and other eye issues. Quitting smoking is important for many reasons, including the long-term health of your eyesight.
Foods that Promote Eye Health
Our diets are incredibly important to our overall health. It is no different for eye health. Just like there are foods you can eat (or avoid) to promote heart health, there are also foods that promote eye health. Things like omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon or tuna have been shown to improve eye health. Foods that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, are also known to help improve eye health. Vitamin E, zinc, and lutein are also significant and showed to be beneficial to eye health. These can be found in leafy greens, nuts, beans, legumes, and non-animal based protein sources.
Not only do these foods help promote eye health, but they are also, in general, good for the body. Making healthy eating changes will provide benefits well beyond protecting the eyes.
Eye Protection is Important
Too many people today still don’t wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are not just useful because the sun is bright and sunglasses allow you to see in bright light without squinting. Most sunglasses are designed to reduce exposure to UV rays, which are known to damage vision. Macular degeneration, eyelash loss and other associated eye issues can result from too much UV exposure, most commonly the result of not wearing any eye protection.
Take Breaks from the Computer/Tablet/Smart Phone
These devices have never been more vital or necessary in everyday life, but they do not come without a current cost. These screens are hard on the eyes. People who work with computers or spend a lot of time looking at screens can attest to the eye strain and even headaches that result from prolonged exposure. It is not natural for us to stare at electronic screens all the time. One of the best ways to help reduce the strain and other problems associated prolonged screen exposure is to take regular breaks. Every hour or so, take a ten-minute break away from the computer, maybe even take a brief “cat nap” to give your eyes a rest.
Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
This might seem like common sense or somewhat poor advice for keeping your eyes healthy, but it is remarkable. Your eyes are no different from any other organ in the body; they require regular maintenance, and it is important to have yourself checked out regularly to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that there are no problems on the proverbial horizon. Going to the eye doctor once a year is an excellent way to stay on top of your eye health and to catch any potential problems before they become too high. Just as going to a regular doctor for a check up can catch an illness or concern, so too can an annual eye exam.
We only get one set of eyes and with the strains of modern life, we are putting more pressure on these vital sense organs than ever before. Between our constant staring at screens, our poor diets, and our evasion of regular eye maintenance, many people suffer unnecessarily from eye problems. There are many lifestyle changes and habits that you can include in your daily health and wellness regimen that will help to reduce your risk of eye injury, permanent damage, and general degradation.
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Meighan Sembrano has done her Mass Communication degree. In her free time, she likes to write about health, lifestyle fitness, world news and beauty. She is an author at Consumer Health Digest since 2012. To know more about her, follow her on Twitter, Pinterest.