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5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Sight

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Sight

Sight is your most important sense. You use your eyes for everything from driving to flirting with that cute new guy across the room. Unfortunately most people put more thought into which toilet paper to buy than their eye health. We are all guilty of taking our eyes for granted but there are a few easy ways you can protect your peepers.

1. Eat Like A Rabbit

According to optometrists, certain foods can have a big impact on your eyes. Anything that is high in vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc can help your eyes.

Berries oranges and other citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Eating these will help lower your risk of macular degeneration plus they taste great. The vitamin C in these fruits works to keep the cells in your eyes healthy and maintain connective tissue.

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Leafy greens like kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants. These can help protect against macular degeneration and a number of different cancers.

Nuts and legumes are high in vitamin E. Most people know about vitamin E because it is good for your skin but it can also help prevent cataracts.

Fatty fish like salmon and trout are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your overall health and protect against dry eye syndrome.

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Oysters are often cited as being an aphrodisiac but they are also good for your eyes. These little shellfish are absolutely packed with zinc which is used by the body to process vitamin A and make melanin. This can protect you from light toxicity and help night vision.

2. Don’t Smoke

By now everyone knows that smoking is bad for you but most people do not realize that smoking can do serious damage to your eyes. Even a light smoker is playing with fire. Smoking makes you four times more likely to develop macular degeneration and heavy smokers are three times more likely to develop cataracts.

Smoking also leads to higher blood pressure which actually increases your risk of diabetes and glaucoma, both of which can have terrible effects on your eyes. Glaucoma increases the pressure inside your eye and can lead to sight loss. Diabetes can actually increase the acidity of your blood which can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes and even lead to blindness.

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3. Look Cool, Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; they are an essential part of eye health. The sun is constantly throwing out ultraviolet rays. The ones you need to worry about are UV-A and UV-B radiation. These can damage your eyes plus squinting gives your crow’s feet.

The solution is simple, find a nice pair of shades that filter out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. Remember that sunglasses are not just for sunny summer days. UV rays are just as damaging in winter. If you are on the water or playing in the snow, sunglasses will also protect you from glare and sun burning your eyes.

4. Get Regular Eye Exams

I will be the first to admit, getting your eyes examined is not the most fun. Someone sits really close to your face, they dilate your eyes and then you have to keep your eyes open while they blow a little puff of air on them. All in all I would prefer a day at the beach but these exams are essential. Even if you think your vision is perfect you still need to get your eyes tested.

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Regular eye exams can catch nasty diseases early. This minimize damage and make them easier to treat. Eye tests can also help you better understand your vision. You may be able to see without glasses but often people do not realize their site is deteriorating.

5. Protect Your Peepers, Wear eye protection

Safety glasses are cheap; going to the emergency room to get something removed from your eye is not. If you are using power tools, playing a sport or using firearms, safety glasses are a must. They are great for protecting your eyes plus they come in all shapes and sizes. You can get safety sunglasses, safety ski goggles and even safety glasses designed to increase contrast for shooting.

If you want to know more about your eyes, speak to an optometrist or book an eye test. Remember, if you follow these tips you can drastically reduce your risk of eye injury and disease. Plus you will be healthier overall and look super cool in your new sunglasses.

Featured photo credit: tezmall via tezmall.com

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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