Our eyes offer us the ability to view the world and everything it contains, but we often don’t think of what we can do to keep our eyes strong. We take for granted all our eyesight provides, but it’s important to take care of our eyes just like we would any other parts of our bodies. Ignoring eye care can mean losing the ability to see over time, and it can compromise our eye health.
There are simple steps we can follow to both preserve and improve eyesight. These same steps can also help safeguard us from common eye diseases.
Recent research on sleep points to how important it is for everyone to aim for a full eight hours each night. Without sufficient rest, our bodies suffer, including our eyes. Those dark circles that appear and the uncontrollable urge to close our lids are not the worst of what can happen to our eyes when we skimp on sleep.
Myokymia, also known as eye spasms, may occur when eyes aren’t allowed enough time to rest. Though they aren’t usually dangerous, eye spasms are extremely annoying interruptions that occur throughout the day.
Blood vessels in the eyes can actually start popping if too much sleep is lost over a period of time, and eyes may become so dry that discomfort is constant. Shut off the computer screen, wind down, and get sufficient shut-eye every night to protect eye health.
It’s not only about the carrots when it comes to eating for eye health. The orange vegetables associated with eye health are important, but so are a variety of foods that can help us avoid macular degeneration. Macular degeneration leads to vision problems, sometimes even complete vision loss. However, making changes to our diets now offers help.
Grab fruits and vegetables that look like the rainbow, such as spinach, strawberries, and the much-loved carrots. Broccoli, eggs, and salmon are also sound choices because they contain lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that also protects against macular degeneration.
There’s another benefit to a healthy diet: better overall health. Since diabetes can wreak havoc on eye health and vision, avoiding this common condition is key to safeguarding the eyes.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Anyone who is active in a sport where a rogue ball or fist can hit the eye needs to wear protective eye gear. This is also true when kids or adults are performing experiments or construction that can lead to chemicals or sharp objects entering the eye.
Eye injuries from these problems can cause permanent damage, and an eye doctor can recommend and prescribe proper eyewear for any activity that is a threat.
Wearing sunglasses is also a stylish, simple way to protect the eyes. Prescription eyeglass wearers can obtain prescription sunglasses from their eye doctor’s office, and insurance often covers the cost. Cataracts, macular degeneration, and astigmatisms may be avoided by simply wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation.
Exercise and Breaks
There has never been a better time in history to implement eye breaks. Many of us work in front of computer screens for longer periods of time, and this is causing strain to our eyes. Taking frequent breaks from staring at screens is essential, and it’s recommended that eyes view something besides a screen every 20 minutes.
There are even exercises that may decrease the risk of glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve within the eye, while also giving instant eye relief. Zooming in and out on objects helps eye muscles work, and shifting eyes from side to side may help eyes because of the blood released during this activity. These are small things that can make a big difference.
Go for an Eye Checkup
Keeping the body healthy means receiving regular checkups, and this is as true for eyes as any other part of the body. An eye doctor, either an optometrist or ophthalmologist, assesses vision and runs tests that can detect eye problems before symptoms even occur. Early detection can make the difference in whether a person receives successful treatment or suffers permanent damage.
Visits to the eye doctor should start during childhood and continue throughout life. Besides checkups, it’s important to see the eye doctor when new symptoms arise that might relate to vision or eye health.
Share Family History
Family history matters when it comes to eye health. Researchers found that many vision problems and eye diseases are inherited and can be connected to genetics. This makes knowing and sharing family history with an eye doctor extremely important.
If there is a chance you inherited the genes that lead to eye problems, an eye doctor can schedule more frequent check-ups and provide options for early intervention.
There’s no reason to wait for something to go wrong before taking eye health seriously. Start with these simple steps to preserve and improve vision, and keep complications related to eye health at bay.