Our vision is a precious thing. Having crystal clear vision is a gift that many of us tend to ignore. Granted, many of us require some form of vision correction at some stage in our lives; it is still important that we do everything that we can to make sure that we have clear vision for as long as possible.
There are many things that affect our vision. A change in our lifestyle and how much strain the eyes undergo everyday can make a big difference. Many of us have a genetic background of poor vision and require glasses at a young age. The good news is that we can make certain changes to our lifestyle that may help keep our vision crystal clear for years to come.
Here are some simple tips that could help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp as a hawk.
1. Visit your Doctor:
This may sound a little bit odd to mention this early in this article but probably the most important step to keep your eyesight healthy is to see your family ophthalmologist. An annual check-up is more than enough to make sure that your eyes are in good shape.
If you notice that you may have some health problems with your eyes, then do not delay seeing your eye specialist. In particular, if you notice any swelling, redness, irritation or even itching in the eye that is not getting any better and is troubling you all the time, then it is possible that you may have either an allergic reaction or an infection.
These are signs of impending problems and must be dealt with as soon as possible. It is easy to sort them out by just seeing an eye doctor and receiving prompt treatment.
If you are someone who spends long hours sitting in front of a computer, then you may need to wear some form of protective glasses to prevent your eyes from getting harmed by the bright light. I have discussed computer-related issues later on in this article.
There are specific times at which we must all get our eyes checked. For example, in children, eye check-ups may be required once every six months. As we get older, annual check-ups may be sufficient though sometimes bi-annual check-ups may be required especially if a change in vision is noted.
Remember, it does not take long to go and see your doctor. Make an appointment straight away if you have not had an eye check-up in the last year.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet:
A proper diet that is balanced in all nutrients is extremely important to maintain a healthy eyesight. Many of us are aware that vitamins that are present in fruits and vegetables can keep our vision sharp.
Particularly, vitamin A that is present in carrots, oranges and pumpkins is essential to maintain clear vision. Make sure you have one to two portions of these orange coloured fruits and vegetables regularly.
In individuals with diabetes, the excessive blood sugar levels can sometimes cause blurring of vision. This happens because the lens of the eye is affected by the elevated blood sugars. By maintaining a healthy diet as advised by the doctor, lowering and controlling blood sugars can improve vision.
Besides this, diabetes is notorious in affecting the back of the eye i.e. the retina. If you have just been diagnosed with type II diabetes, you may want to see an ophthalmologist to ensure that the back of the eye is already not being affected. Diabetic retinopathy, as the condition is named, is a common cause of visual loss in diabetes and can be prevented by ensuring good blood sugar control.
It is not just the orange coloured fruits and vegetables that can keep your eyes in good shape. Even dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are also important. Lean meat and oily fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) can also help you maintain an excellent eyesight.
3. Keep a Healthy Body Weight:
You may wonder what body weight has to do with the eyesight. Interestingly, researchers found that individuals who are either overweight or obese have a high risk of diabetes and other medical problems.
Glaucoma and diabetic eye disease is common in those who are overweight.
Related Read: Home Remedies to Reduce Weight
4. Wear Protective Eye-wear:
If you are someone who indulges in contact sports or any activity that potentially could affect the eyes, then it is extremely important that you wear protective goggles or glasses. If your occupation involves bright lights (e.g. – welding) or flying debris, wearing protective eyewear is extremely important. This can protect the eye from the glare of bright lights and could also prevent damage to the eyeball.
5. Avoid Computer Glare:
It is a broad term to use the word ‘computer’ when so many modern technological gadgets now emit a bright light. In particular, the spectrum of bright light that is emitted by these electronic devices contains wavelengths of different colours. Blue light is considered to be the worst form of light that can affect the eyes and harm your vision.
This is because blue light has the capability of penetrating the eyeball and damaging the retina. These days, filters are available in the form of apps (such as Twilight app) for mobile phones that can remove this blue light and prevent the glare from the phone damaging your vision. This is particularly important if children are using mobile devices frequently.
Blue light exposure can lead to a condition called macular degeneration. While this is a disease that is commonly seen as we get a lot older, blue light can expedite the process making macular degeneration a possibility at an earlier age. It is therefore essential that we spend as little time as possible in front of mobile devices.
The Mayo Clinic has a very good rule when it comes to keeping your eyesight safe if you spend long hours in front of a computer screen. It is called the 20 – 20 – 20 rule.
This rule dictates that if you stare at a computer screen for more than 20 minutes, it is important that you look away at an object around 20 feet away for a period of 20 seconds. This will give your eyes the rest it needs and prevent the strain from the glare of the computer screen from affecting the eyes.
6. Be Careful with Contact Lenses:
Many of us now wear contact lenses instead of spectacles to correct our vision. Contact lenses come with a cleaning solution and meticulous care must be taken when cleaning the lenses.
If cleaned with tap water, the lenses can harbour bacteria which can affect the eyeball causing eye infections.
It is extremely important that you disinfect your contact lenses as recommended by your ophthalmologist. Also, make sure that you wear contact lenses for the prescribed duration only and change them as suggested by your doctor.
7. Stop Smoking:
Smoking affects almost every vital structure in our body and our eyes are no exception. Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Not only that, it can go on to damage the optic nerve which is an important nerve connecting the eyeball to the brain. Optic nerve damage can lead to blindness.
Make sure you do everything possible in your power to stop smoking.
Related Read: 25 Effects of Smoking on the Body
8. Protect your Vision from UV Light:
Venturing out on a sunny day is all well and good and will certainly give you and your family a great deal of joy. However, being exposed to bright sunlight can be harmful to the eyes. This is because the ultraviolet rays that are emitted from the sun can affect the eyeball and lead to vision impairment.
It is important that you wear good quality sunglasses that can filter out UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Our vision is precious. Our lifestyle and habits are affecting our vision. Make sure you take the right steps and ensure that you have crystal clear vision for years to come.