Ways To Maintain Eye Health: All Things You Need To Know

Maintain Eye Health

Introduction 

Do you spend a lot of time looking at screens? Are you worried this habit will impair your vision in the long run? Well, if you are here because you are anxious or just curious about the habits that will improve your vision, you will be happy to know that there are many.

Even though our eyes are complicated organs, we can sustain our vision by taking precautionary measures to prevent ailments in the long run.

A few of the important ones are as follows:

Consume a nutritious diet

Certain nutrients such as EPA, DHA, lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc are proven to prevent diseases like macular degeneration and cataract formation. There are nutrients called antioxidants that prevent your cells from producing free radicals which cause a host of health problems including eye ailments.

Foods rich in eye-healthy nutrients include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, etc. and fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, codfish, etc. which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These foods contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin which maintain vision and a healthy retina.

You can also take antioxidant supplements in a doctor-recommended dose to compliment your diet. Taking fish oil or omega tablets along with zinc and vitamin supplements can help advance eye health and boost immunity.

Foods to avoid

Antioxidant supplements should be taken with caution and under doctor’s prescriptions only. This will prevent their counter effects of producing free radicals which they initially set out to eradicate.

Similarly, alcohol and saturated fats should be consumed moderately. Highly saturated foods especially fast foods can lead to cholesterol deposits in the arteries. This will lead to constriction of the blood vessels responsible for supplying nutrition to the eye. 

High alcohol consumption also has similar effects.

Workout for the eyes

A major cause of many eye ailments is eye strain. This can be reduced by practicing eye workouts every day. These practices are said to be the most simple and natural methods to preserve eye fitness.

Some of the workouts that you can easily practice are as follows:

Focus change:

Step 1: While seated, place your finger parallel to your eyes and focus on it.

Step 2: Gradually shift your finger away while continuing to concentrate on it.

Step 3: Gaze straight into the space ahead of you instead of your arm.

Step 4: Focus back on your finger and gradually move it towards yourself.

Step 5: Look away again and focus on something at a distance.

Do this exercise three times at a stretch for the best results.

Near and far focus:

Step 1: While seated, clutch your thumb at an arm’s length in front of your face and concentrate on it for 20 seconds.

Step 2: Pick any item at least 15 feet from where you are and concentrate on it for 20 seconds.

Step 3: Come back to your thumb again. Repeat this five times.

Figure eight: 

Step 1: While seated, focus on a spot 10 feet ahead of you.

Step 2: Outline an eight with your eyes on that spot.

Step 3: Continue this pattern for half a minute and do it the other way around.

20-20-20 rule

For people who work on electronic devices all day long, doctors recommend a 20-20-20 rule. In this, after 20 minutes of continuously staring on the screen, concentrate on an object 20 feet away from you. Do this for 20 seconds. 

This will reduce the strain experienced by your eyes due to constant screen exposure.

Vision Therapy

An expert team of doctors, optometrists, and ophthalmologists can help you deal with serious eye problems. Vision therapy is a combination of regular eye workouts aimed at correcting a wide variety of neurological, educational, and spatial difficulties such as a lazy eye.

This treatment aims to reinforce eye muscles, retrain eye movements, and correct eye agility issues.

Effective hand hygiene

A host of eye infections result when you touch your eyes with dirty hands. This is particularly true if you wear contact lenses.

The most commonly occurring eye infections are conjunctivitis or pink eye, Keratitis, Endophthalmitis, Blepharitis, sties, Uveitis, Eyelid Cellulitis, Ocular Herpes, etc. A rule of thumb is to not rub your eyes under any circumstances, especially if your hands are unclean.

Before placing contact lenses in your eyes, wash your hands with mild soap and dry your hands to avert eye infections.

Tips to counter the effects of blue light from electronic devices

Blue light is a characteristic light ray emitted by all electronic devices. Essentially, carotenoids present in the macula (center of the retina) of the eye such as lutein and zeaxanthin help filter blue light. But regular exposure can thwart their effectiveness considerably.

If you are a regular user of electronic devices, follow these practices to retain your eye health:

  1. Place your computers at a distance of 20 inches from yourself
  2. The top of your screen must be slightly lower than your eye level
  3. Adjust the screen brightness to decrease the glare from the screen
  4. Blink frequently
  5. Practice the 20-20-20 rule
  6. Use soothing eye drops in case of eye irritation or dryness

Eye drops for eye health

Eye drops are of two types – prescription and non-prescription. If you experience frequent eye irritability, dryness, infections, allergies, itching, soreness, swelling, or discharge from the eyes, physicians may recommend prescription eye drops.

Non-prescription eye drops on the other hand can soothe your eyes, clean out toxic impurities and keep your eyes lubricated. They are typically less costly and ideal for daily use. Some of these products that you can easily find are Clear Eye tears, Refresh Plus, GenTeal Gel drops, etc.

Doctor recommended products will be ideal for daily use as well as for specific issues.

Use protective eyewear

Harmful UV rays from the sun amplify the chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. The simplest hack to stop excessive sun exposure for your eyes is to wear sunglasses when stepping outside. Special quality sunglasses can prevent almost all of the UV rays from reaching your eyes.

Wraparound lenses and polarized lenses are other products that guard your eyes from the side and decrease glare while driving. Contact lenses may provide some respite from UV rays, but it is always a good idea to wear shades over it.

Protective eye goggles with polycarbonate lenses will be ideal when you play sports or engage in dangerous activities such as welding.

Conclusion

You can maintain your vision if you develop the necessary habits and be consistent with your eye appointments. The smallest of steps will go a long way in letting you see clearly, even when you are as old as 70.