Taking care of your eyesight has never been more important.
As we spend a lot of time in front of our computer, mobile phones, and other gadgets, the more we become at risk of having dry eyes, early macular degeneration, and other eye problems.
Although employing the 20-20-20 rule can help mitigate the negative effects of staring too long at your screens, it’s usually not enough. To help preserve your eye health for the rest of your life, here are some of the most important things you need to do.
You Only Get One Set Of Eyes
Full eye transplant is still, as of writing, unavailable in regular medical practice.This means you have to take care of your eyes so, that they can last your entire lifetime. And since you don’t know how long that will be, it’s especially important to do everything you can to protect your eyes.
You can prevent physical damage by always wearing UV protective sunglasses when you’re outside. If you are doing any woodwork or you are working with chemicals, make sure you have your protective goggles on.
Eye Exams Can Save Your Eyes
Because eye problems, like macular degeneration, often occur gradually, you might not notice anything amiss until it is too late. This is why getting regular eye exams is crucial to maintaining your ocular health.
Common problems that are easier to treat if detected early include:
- Cataracts – Caused by UV light exposure
- Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage to blood vessels caused by poorly controlled diabetes
- Glaucoma – Has multiple causes and can only be controlled with early detection
- Macular Degeneration – Multiple causes, including blue light exposure and screen time
Most people are concerned about losing their vision but only 14% of people with existing eye problems go in for routine eye exams. If you want to avoid such problems, make sure to see your eye doctor regularly.
Proper Nutrition Can Help
As the old saying goes: Garbage in, garbage out.
If you are eating poorly, it can affect several areas of your health. Diabetes and hypertension are two good examples of health problems caused by poor dietary choices. They also happen to be the two most common causes of eye problems.
To preserve your eyesight, try making better lifestyle and nutrition choices. You can start by adding the following foods to your diet:
- Beta-Carotene– One serving per day helps your eyes absorb light energy and adjust to different light levels
Sources: Carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash
- Zeaxanthin and Lutein– One serving every other day prevents macular degeneration and cataracts
Sources: Eggs, spinach, broccoli, corn, and kale
- Zinc– Two servings a week improve liver function to protect against macular degeneration
Sources: Beef, poultry, oysters, and beans
- Omega-3 fatty acids– Two servings a week reduce inflammation to protect against macular degeneration and dry eye
Sources: Tuna, mackerel, salmon, trout, and anchovies
- Vitamin C– One serving daily prevents cataracts
Sources: Tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers
- Resveratrol– Reasonable consumption can prevent problems with blood flow in the eyes
Sources: Red wine, peanuts, and blueberries
Your eye health should never be taken lightly.
In addition to improving your diet, making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and getting more exercise can help improve and preserve your eyesight in the long run. Remember to rest your eyes and see your eye doctor regularly to make sure problems are detected early.
To learn more about preventing eye diseases and lifestyle-related blindness, check out this infographic.