Eyesight problems and diseases are often perceived as “old-people” problems that are bound to surface sooner or later. However, ignoring risks may lead to serious eye conditions, and in some cases even blindness; and not even when you’re old and gray, but way before that.
There isn’t anything that can guarantee perfect vision throughout your entire life, but taking the proper measures to care for your eyes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way. Here are the most important things to consider when it comes to protecting your eyesight:
Most people associate ultra violet (UV) radiation with skin cancer. However, extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays without proper eye protection can lead to a slew of symptoms, from blurry vision to trouble with bright lights and even complete vision loss. Cataracts and macular degeneration are two of the more common eye conditions linked to unprotected exposure to the sun and UV rays.
A simple and effective way of protecting your eyes is wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays. This is especially true for children, as the risk to your eyes from UV radiation is accumulative. Half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV can occur by the time they’re 18, hence the importance of children wearing sunglasses.
Prescription eyeglasses can be upgraded with UV protective coatings that reduce the risk from exposure to the sun’s rays. Another popular option is eyeglasses with adaptive lenses (also known as photochromic lenses), which darken when exposed to UV rays and clear up indoors. These specialized glasses also provide 100% UV-block.
As the use of digital devices continues to rise, so do the symptoms related to spending too much time in front of screens, whether it’s the computer at work or a tablet at home.
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is the umbrella name for symptoms such as eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes and more, caused by overexposure to blue rays emitted from digital screens. Your eyes can’t filter blue rays and that leads to symptoms of CVS. Lengthy unprotected exposure to digital screen emissions can cause long term damage to your eyes.
Computer screen glasses with specialized lenses filter blue light and reduce eye strain as well as other CVS symptoms. They can be fitted for single-vision or multifocal eyeglasses. They’re even more effective with an anti-reflective coating (also known as anti-glare) which eliminates reflection of light from the lens.
Food for the Eyes
Taking care of your eyesight isn’t only a matter of the right glasses; it has a lot to do with a healthy lifestyle. A proper diet that omega-3 acids, lutein, zinc as well as Vitamins C & E can help fend off age-related eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers the odds of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness among adults.
Among the food types that are beneficial for your eyes:
● Kale, spinach and other green leafy vegetables
● Oily fish like salmon and tuna
● Citrus fruits and juices
● Non-meat protein sources such as eggs, beans and more
Working Out & Other Health Tips
In addition to maintaining a balanced diet, here are a few more tips to follow that are good for your eyesight:
● Frequent exercise: Recent studies suggest that regular exercise helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and other age-related eye conditions by up to 70%
● No smoking: There’s nothing new about smoking being bad for you. But what some aren’t aware of is that smoking increases the risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and uveitis.
● Regular eye exams: Going to the eye doctor once every 2 years can help determine your risk for serious eye diseases and ensure you have the right prescription (if you need one).
Following the tips we mentioned in the article, from using sunglasses and computer glasses to keeping a healthy lifestyle, will help protect your eyesight from things that are preventable.