How well do you look after your sight? It’s a question that we should all ask ourselves on a regular basis. Modern life requires us to spend longer looking at screens than ever before, whether it is the computer in your office or the smartphone without which your social life would fold! However, that effort of constantly straining your eyes, combined with a number of other environmental effects, can lead to long-term and even short-term eye damage.
Fortunately, though modern life puts great demands on our eyesight, modern medicine offers the solutions to many eye problems, and thanks to the work of Dr. Rohit Varma and other ophthalmic experts, we now know more than ever before about the keys to preventing sight issues. Here are the top tips to keeping your eyes in the best possible health.
Take regular sight tests
Too many of us overlook the importance of regular health checkups, and this includes getting our eyes checked out. A regular sight test with an optometrist can help you to track the overall health and function of your sight, and can highlight potential sight problems before they develop. Your optometrist can give you good advice on maintaining eye health, and an eye test can often identify the early signs of serious health conditions, including diabetes and high cholesterol. Getting your eyes checked out every two years – or more often, if your optometrist suggests it – is a vital component of a good eye health regime.
You probably won’t be surprised to find a healthy diet listed here. Pretty much every health guide recommends it, but that is for a reason. In the case of your sight, by ensuring that your diet is rich in omega-3 fats, which are found in oily fish, and leafy vegetables such as kale, which is full of lutein and vitamins A, C and E, you can reduce your eye disease risk. A diet that includes at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is one of the best ways to promote good eye health. If you have a family history of eye problems, then your optometrist may advise you on the potential benefits of nutritional supplements.
Give up smoking
You probably know all about the health risks associated with smoking, but you may not be aware of the link that has been established between eye disease and smoking, which has been found to increase the risk of cataracts and age-linked macular degeneration. The benefits of giving up smoking are significant, however long you have had the habit, so if you are a smoker concerned about your eye health, you should renew your efforts to quit.
Wear your prescription glasses
If you have been prescribed glasses, make sure that you wear them. It is a popular myth that wearing glasses can cause your eyesight to deteriorate, but this is not true. Vision problems tend to develop or become worse with age, but wearing glasses helps your eyes to work more effectively, protecting your sight and your ocular health.
Take a break
We spend a lot of our day looking at screens, but every time you use a computer or mobile device, your eye muscles are working. This can lead to tiredness and other problems, even if your sight is generally good. To make sure that your eyes are getting enough rest, remember the handy 20/20/20 rule when using a screen: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away.
Sunglasses don’t just help us to see more comfortably on bright days – they can also protect your eyes from potentially harmful UV light. There are a number of different categories of sunglasses, including sportswear and everyday models, and it is important to have the appropriate pair for your activity. As UV is most harmful at a young age, make sure that children wear sunglasses on bright days.
Beware of dry eyes
Your eyes can become tired and sore if your body doesn’t produce enough tears, and this can be exacerbated by other factors such as computer use, central heating or air conditioning. If you suffer from dry or tired eyes, you may find that eye drops or omega-3 supplements are helpful. You should also drink lots of water and remember to blink.
Consider your family history
Eye problems, including short-sightedness and glaucoma, can be inherited, and knowing that you are at risk of a particular eye problem can help your optometrist to spot and treat the problem at an early stage, preventing long-term harm.
We tend to take our sight for granted, but just like every other part of the body, our sight has to be protected and cared for. By taking the steps outlined above, you will have a better chance of ensuring that your eyes stay healthy throughout your life.