How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Your eyes are a very important part of your body. Don’t take them for granted. Here are a few easy steps you can take to  keep your eyes healthy.

1. Quit smoking

Smoking damages your optic nerves and macular degeneration, thereby making you more likely to get cataracts. If you have tried stopping the habit, but started it again, keep on trying. The more you try to quit smoking, the more likely you are to actually succeed. Ask your doctor for help if you have any problems.

2. Wear sunglasses

Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) increases your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. However, with the right pair of sunglasses, you can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful effects.

Researchers from Stanford University, California suggest using a pair that blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Also, wraparound lenses help to protect the sides of your eyes and polarized lenses reduce glare while you drive. Even though you wear contact lenses that offer UV protection, it’s still a good idea to wear sunglasses for an extra layer.

3. Eat well

The food on your plate plays a huge role in the good health of your eyes. Age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration might be warded off by consuming nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins C and E. To get these nutrients, fill your plate with:

  • Oysters and pork
  • Eggs, beans, nuts, and other non-meat protein sources
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, collards, and kale
  • Tuna, salmon, and other oily fish
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

Research shows that a well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. This lowers the odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the major cause of blindness in adults.

4. Look away from the computer screen

Staring at your phone or computer screen for too long can lead to:

  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble focusing at a distance
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Dry eyes

To protect your eyes:

  • Move the computer screen so your eyes are leveled with the top of the monitor. This lets you look slightly down at the screen.
  • Get up at least every 2 hours and take a 20-minute break. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Also try to look 20 feet away every 20 seconds.
  • Ensure that your contact lenses or glasses are good for looking at a computer screen, and make sure it’s prescription is up to date.
  • Talk to your doctor about computer glasses if your eye strain won’t go away.

Image courtesy of: macrohealth.net.

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