We all realize the importance of staying healthy although whether we are really inclined to make necessary sacrifices in order to stay healthy is a completely different story. To our own levels of motivation and application, we resort to working out, balancing our diets, maintaining healthy lifestyle and visiting doctors regularly, all to remain healthy. And equally, we don’t want to be blind. Vision is probably the most important amongst our senses. But do we realize the importance of having good eye health, as much as having sound overall health? Most of us do not care about it, as long as our eyes can see.
For most of us, having healthy eyes means being able to see and for some more, being able to see without having to put glasses on. But, there are so many types of eye-related hazards like astigmatism, conjunctivitis, cataract, dry eyes, glaucoma and others, unknown to many of us, some of which can even end up claiming our sight. In this digital age, our eyes are having to cope with maximum level of stresses, as we’re always focusing our attention on all sorts of screens. This makes our eyes much more vulnerable to complications. So, we need to be careful to protect our eyes and thus live a joyful life. Below are twenty tips which will surely help us avoid most of the eye problems, if not all, provided we practice them on a regular basis.
1. Examine eyes regularly.
Our eyes could be seeing everything properly and we might not be experiencing any significant problem with our eyes. But, they could be suffering from problems like dryness, glaucoma or macular degeneration, the problems which often do not have any warnings. So, it’s wise to examine our eyes regularly by visiting the ophthalmologist. This will help us know if our eyes are really well and if there are any issues, we will know them early so that they can be easily dealt with. An anually complete eye examination is highly recommended to maintain healthy eyes.
2. Be open with the medical practitioner.
Just visiting the ophthalmologist often isn’t enough to maintain healthy eyes. Medical examinations should be accompanied with our frankness. Most of us like to believe that our eyes are perfect. So we try to hide facts as much as we can so that the doctor won’t be able to identify the problems with our eyes. But this must be avoided completely as by hiding facts, we won’t be able to achieve the most from medical examinations. We should provide the doctor with complete information in regards to how we’re feeling as well as full details of our own as well as our family’s health history.
3. Stock saline solution at home.
Sometimes, our eyes may come in contact with soaps, cleansers and some chemicals. The best thing to do in that case as a preliminary remedy is to rinse the eyes thoroughly with saline solution. For soaps and cleaners, it is enough to rinse the eyes thoroughly with saline for 10 to 15 minutes. But for chemicals, it might not be enough. In that case, especially if you experience irritation, you should better visit the eye doctor. So stock your medical kit with enough of saline solution.
4. Drink plenty of water.
Consumption of a sufficient amount of water is also very important to maintain healthy eyes. This helps to keep the eyes hydrated. Saline solution also helps in keeping eyes hydrated but water consumption is a much easier and risk-free way to do the same thing. Specially alkaline ionized drinking water is more beneficial because it has anti-oxidant properties, enhances the immune system and improves the absorption and benefits of vitamins, which help in eye health. Ionized and safe alkaline drinking water can be obtained easily at home and at offices nowadays thanks to water ionizer from companies such as Bawell.
5. Maintain air quality at home and office.
In the winter, we often use heating systems in homes and offices which create dry air. Prolonged exposure to dry air leads to hazards such as dryness of eyes, irritation and itches. The best way to prevent this without turning off the heater is to use a portable humidifier to keep the air moist, which will help in the prevention of eye irritation caused by dryness. Besides, the air inside the house and workplaces also should be clean so that there’s no chance of irritants contaminating our eyes.
6. Eat your way to good vision.
Proper diet is also very important to maintain healthy eyes and for having good vision. One should eat lots of green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale, which help avoid macular degeneration. Blueberries meanwhile help in the reduction of eye fatigue and apricots, which are rich in beta carotene and lycopene, promote good vision. Tea helps to deter cataracts. Often, we also need to take supplements such as vitamins. It is advisable to turn to them only after consultation with doctors.
7. Quit smoking.
Medical researches suggest that smoking makes individuals more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. So, it’s best to quit smoking as soon as possible, if you haven’t been able to avoid it completely firsthand. But it’s not the easiest thing to do for those who have taken it up. They need to try harder and harder considering the risks they’re putting their eyes in.
8. Wear safety glasses.
Different kind of safety glasses are available, suitable for different situations and purposes. We need to be serious about using them for safety of our eyes. UV filtering sunglasses are useful while going out in the sun. They protect our eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can otherwise contribute to cataracts. Meanwhile, while we’re working with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, simple protective goggles will be enough to protect our eyes. On the other hand, players of certain sports such as ice hockey, racquetball, cricket and lacrosse are highly prone to eye injury. They need to wear protective helmets or goggles while playing.
9. Wear the glasses and lenses right.
Wearing glasses and lenses isn’t enough to maintain healthy eyes. We should also be careful about wearing them right. Wearing glasses and lenses incorrectly doesn’t just reduce benefits but in some cases it can even lead to complications. To ensure we are wearing appropriate visual aids, we need to visit doctors regularly to check if our aids need to be updated and if they meet our requirements. Similarly, contact lenses need to be replaced every two to three months and shouldn’t be worn more than 18 hours continuously. We also need to be careful to keep the contact lenses clean.
10. Give your eyes many breaks from screens.
We should not stress our eyes with prolonged exposure to computer, TV and mobile screens. We should be particularly careful about computer screens as we stand closer to them and they have extra glare. People often blink less while looking at the screens causing dry eyes as a result. So conscious efforts should be made to blink every 30 seconds. Besides, the 20-20-20 rule is important in the case of computer use, which suggests to look 20 feet or more away every 20 minutes more than 20 seconds.
11. Blink more often.
Blinking on a regular basis is also very important for the health of eyes. As suggested in the earlier point, it helps in the prevention of dry eyes. Besides, constantly staring at an object without blinking also stresses the eyes and in the long run, leads to defects of vision such as myopia and hypermetropia. So we need to keep blinking on a constant basis.
12. Give your eyes proper rest.
The major reason behind our eyes suffering from defects is that we exhaust them. So the best way to ensure that your eyes are in good operational health is to rest them appropriately and ensure they aren’t being put under too much of stress. For this we need to have enough sleep. Eyes need to be given regular breaks from screens. We should also not involve in straining activities like working on a computer, reading, writing, etc. to the point that our eyes experience discomforts.
13. Put cucumber on your eyelids.
It’s beneficial to press cold cucumber slices gently against eyelids for around 10 minutes, especially before going to sleep at night. This particularly helps to prevent puffiness. Besides, it also helps to keep the eyes relaxed and soothed. The idea behind the use of cucumbers is that they contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, which prevent water retention and inflammation. So it’s wise to use them whenever we feel our eyes are stressed.
14. Get the light right.
Working in appropriate light conditions also provides a major boost for the well-being of eyes. We should not read in dim light for prolonged periods of time as it leads to eye strain. We should also ensure that the light in the room is sufficient. Extra care also needs to be taken to prevent frequent exposure to harmful high energy blue light and UV rays.
15. Do not look at bright light directly.
We should never focus our eyes on the sun or any other bright sources of light directly as it can cause temporary and permanent damage to our eyes. Bright light causes gradual oxidation and deterioration of the macula and leaves our eyes more susceptible to macular degeneration, issues with glare, and contrast sensitivity. For these reasons we should avoid looking at bright light directly and those people who work out in the sun and are exposed for longer durations to bright light need to protect their eyes appropriately against this hazardous light.
16. Practice eye exercises.
Exercises and yogas are great for eyes. They help to keep the eyes relaxed, free of strain and fully operational. Doing several sets of exercises on a daily basis can also help avoid defects of vision, prevent dryness and thus keep the eyes in good health. Some of the popular and beneficial eye exercises are zooming, resting the eyes, rolling the eyes, beads on a string and eye squeeze.
17. Maintain overall health of the body as well.
Overall body health is also an important aspect for the health of our eyes. Several types of body ailments directly and indirectly lead to defects of vision and problems with eyes. For example, if we maintain a healthy body weight, the chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol level all are significantly reduced. All of these conditions can lead to vision loss, and in particular diabetes. Statistics suggest that diabetes is the number one cause for vision loss in the working-age population in the United States. Furthermore, by controlling diabetes we can also reduce the chances of developing retinopathy.
18. Use these apps and software.
As mentioned earlier in this article, computers and mobile devices are one of the important causes for vision problems in these days. But it doesn’t always have to be so. Our eyes suffer more from our carelessness than from computers and mobile devices themselves. If we’re careful, we can even use them for improving our eye health and not just for preventing their deterioration. Some of the popular and useful apps and software for maintaining the health of eyes are Eyeleo, Workrave, PC Work Break, Eye Trainer and EVO.
19. Practice workplace safety.
Some of our jobs are risky and place the eyes at a certain level of vulnerability. So, it’s quite important to practice workplace safety to ensure our eyes will remain healthy over the coming years. The jobs which in particular put our eyes under considerable risk are carpentry, mining, plumbing, auto repairing, computer-related jobs and welding. People working in these fields need to choose appropriate safety measures for their eyes so that foreign particles do not enter the eyes and risks for the eyes are negated.
20. Fall in love with your eyes.
Well, the ultimate way to have healthy eyes and ensure they’re fine over the years is to love them. The earlier points are highly important and if we follow them, we will be able to have healthy eyes almost all the time. But how can we be motivated and determined about following them? That can be assured only if we realize the importance of having healthy eyes and try to avoid activities and habits that have detrimental effects on them.
Featured photo credit: Eye Doctor via dillardeyeclinic.com