Eyes
The Skinny

Tips to keep your eyes healthy

Whether you wear glasses or contact lenses it’s a good idea to keep good care of your eyes. Just like we brush our teeth twice a day there are other things we need to be doing daily to keep our peepers in perfect condition.

Wear sunglasses

Any excuse to hide behind a huge pair of sunglasses and I am in. We should all protect our eyes from long-term exposure to UV rays as this can have a permanent negative effect on your eyes, causing cataracts and irreversible damage to the retina. Wear sunglasses whenever you spend time outside and opt for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation.

Eat your greens  

We’ve all heard that we should eat carrots to help us see in the dark and there is some truth in that. Carrots contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are naturally found in the eyes and can help ward off cataracts and macular degeneration. Having said this carotenoids can be found much more plentifully in leafy green foods such as kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip green and broccoli.

Eat antioxidants 

Increase your intake of vitamins C and E. Papaya, cantaloupe, strawberries, green peppers, oranges, and grapefruit are all great sources of vitamin C. Vitamin E is found in almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and safflower and corn oils.

Take a break

Most people spends hours staring at a computer screen which can increase the risk of developing computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. If you can’t avoid the computer screen take these precautions: ensure your computer screen is 4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes. Reduce glare by using  lower-wattage lightbulbs overhead and closing curtains or drapes. Rest 15 minutes after every two hours of computer use.

Blink 

Blinking is key and it’s something you might not even think about. Try to blink more often throughout the day to reduce dry eyes.

Have regular checks

Regular visits to the optician is a must. Many eye diseases and disorders can be prevented and corrected if they’re caught early and it’s important you have up-to-date prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses. Children should have their eyes examined at six months old, three years old and then every two years until their eighteenth birthday. Adults between the ages of 18 and 40 should have their eyes checked every two to three years. 41- to 60-year-olds should have an eye exam every two years, and adults over 60 should have an annual eye exam. If you’re at higher risk for eye diseases, because of diabetes, hypertension, a family history of ocular disease, or daily use of contact lenses, talk to your optician about how often you should get your eyes checked.

Stay clean 

If you wear contact lenses always ensure that your hands are clean before you put your lenses in or take them out. It’s also important to clean and store your lenses in fresh solution, replace them as directed and remove them before swimming or going in a hot tub.

Warning signs

Be aware of the warning signs that might indicate something is wrong. You should call your opticians if you have difficulty adjusting to light or dark, trouble focusing, unusual sensitivity, a change in the colour of the iris or lids, pain, double vision, dark spots or halos. Avoid self diagnosing yourself as this can cause you to panic. If you’re in any doubt always consult the experts.

 

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