UNITED STATES—Looking after your eyes is vitally important if you want to enjoy good eyesight. Unlike a myriad of other health issues, there is no reversing the damage done to eyes without either major operations – like cataract removal – or the use of corrective lenses. Looking after your eyes properly when you are younger can have a real effect on their health when you are older. And as 80% of the way we experience the world around us is visual, it’s an investment worth making.
But there’s also a lot of bad and confusing information out there about the best ways to look after your eyes. Really, good eye care is very simple. Firstly, you need to eat the right foods. Foods rich in omega-3 oils, like oily fish, help to maintain the health of your eyes, in particular the macula, which is responsible for central vision. Macular degeneration is a rising problem amongst older people, leading to poor eyesight at a time when people need it the most. By having 2 or 3 portions of oily fish a week you can help keep your eyes working properly for a long time. Antioxidants are also an important dietary component for good eye health, and make sure you avoid too many foods which are high in saturated fats, as these can block the delicate blood vessels in the eyes.
Good sleep habits are important for helping your eyes rest and recover from the day, While you can’t actually strain your eyes from sitting too close to the tv or reading in low light, you can strain them by staring at a computer screen for long periods of time without letting them rest. Taking regular eye breaks to focus on something further away, even if only for a minute, can give the muscles in your eye a chance to stretch. Experts like to recommend the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.
If you know that you have poor eyesight, it is important to get regular check-ups and wear any glasses which are prescribed for you. Wearing the right glasses prevents headaches, squinting and eye fatigue, as well as ensuring that you are able to see well enough to perform all your usual daily tasks safely. Glasses frames come in all different shapes and sizes, and it can take time to find a pair that suits you, which is where tools that let you try on glasses online come in handy. Glasses needn’t be expensive either. Whatever your prescription, you will be able to find frames that fit for a reasonable price, just look out for cheap glasses online and in store.
It is advised for those who struggle with their eyesight to wear Glasses to help reduce the risk of their eyesight worsening.
Apart from helping you see better, wearing the correct prescription glasses can also prevent your eyesight from rapidly worsening, because your eye muscles will not be straining so hard. But it isn’t just the muscles that need looking after, the surface of your eye is just as important. Eye infections can lead to long-term issues if not treated properly, but as with every disease, prevention is always far better than a cure, and the best way to prevent germs and foreign objects from entering your eyes is actually to wash your hands! Eyelashes do a great job of keeping dust and microbes out of our eyes, but whenever you rub or touch your eyes, you are introducing everything on the surface of your hands to a new and vulnerable area. Treating eye infections with eye drops can be difficult and uncomfortable, and washing your hands frequently or trying not to touch your eyes is a much easier way to prevent germs from taking hold.
Eye health is also tied to your genes, so knowing your family history can help you to prepare for what your eyes will be like in your later years. For example, diabetics and those with high blood pressure have a greater risk of developing eye issues like cataracts. Managing these conditions by taking the proper medication throughout your life will also help keep your eyes healthier because they won’t become weakened from side effects. Likewise, if you know people in your family suffer from worsening eyesight, scheduling regular tests can help detect any issues early, and early interventions always have a greater chance of succeeding.
Research of genetics from family members can also determine eyesight as an individual gets older.
Our eyes are one of the most important organs in the body. Although they don’t have a function in keeping us alive, they are the windows through which we see and experience the world, and it can be devastating when they develop problems. We are conditioned from a young age to have a daily routine for looking after our teeth, but eyes are for more difficult to replace, and therefore it is much more important that we follow the right advice and keep them healthy. Eat right, keep them clean, and make time for regular check-ups. You’ll thank yourself when you’re older.