Protect Your Eyes to Keep Them Healthy
According to the golden saying, “prevention is better than cure” and the same applies to the achievement and maintenance of the optimal health of our eyes. Major international studies and clinical trials have repeatedly shown that many eye diseases can be prevented with simple corrective and preventive measures while being exposed to sunlight, computer screens and other hazards and also by consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet and visiting the eye doctor at least once in a year.
The following article summarizes some of these natural hints and tips to protect our eyes from the harmful effects of various factors.
How to protect our eyes from sunlight?
Our eyes absorb UVA rays, but our eyes do not slough off damaged cells and the lens cannot repair itself. Sun exposure to the eyes can cause cataracts, skin cancer of the eyelid and dry
eyes. As UV protection in sunglasses are not regulated or standardized, sunglasses should hug the face with wide rims and sidepieces. This protects the eyes and skin from all angles.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following measures for sunglasses:
- Purchase glasses with UV ray block 99-100% of UV rays = UV absorption up to 400nm.
- Sunglasses should wrap all the way around the temples.
- Contact users should still wear sunglasses.
- Lens tint should be uniform, not darker in one area than another.
How to protect our eyes from injuries?
Remember, most injuries are caused by mechanical (particles such as metal fragments), chemical or harmful radiation or a combination of these or other hazards. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear appropriate protective eyewear.
The vast majority of eye injuries are preventable if appropriate eyewear is available and worn consequently. Protective eyewear that is ergonomic, comfortable and adapts well to the users style and preferences should be worn at all times while being exposed to such conditions.
How to protect our eyes while using a computer?
As most of our daily hours are spent in front of the computer and TV (both at home and at work), it is of utmost importance to protect our eyes from excessive exertion and other factors that our eyes might be exposed to through computers.
We should ideally keep the distance of the monitor from our eyes between 16 to 30 inches. This will out less burden on the eyes.
For best reading levels, we must make sure that the top of the monitor is at a level slightly below the horizontal eye level.
Taking short breaks from the computer or television is essential. Try to take 15 to 20 second breaks, perhaps during a commercial or after completing a task and focus on some a distant object other than the screen will help reduce eye strain.
How to protect our eyes with the help of food?
There are certain vitamins and minerals that have a crucial, vital role in the maintenance of health of our eyes.
Vitamin A, for example, helps the body to fight diseases, and it is also important for healthy eyes. As with other vitamins, there are different forms of vitamin A, retinol and beta-carotene. Retinol is readily used by the body and can be found in liver, eggs, and milk. Beta-carotene is commonly found in plants and the body converts it to the active form, retinol. It is found in orange-colored fruits and vegetables and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale. Cooking vegetables for a short time with some oil helps the body to make retinol.
Similarly vitamin C (as found in citrus fruits) has also been found to be helpful in promoting health of the eyes. Likewise, berries such as pomegranates, blueberries, cranberries and other dark berries contain essential nutrients for eyesight, as well as fish oil, specifically cod oil which contains DHA. Additionally the oil soluble nutrient known as lutein can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale and is best absorbed in combination with oils such as butter.
When should you get your eyes checked?
In normal everyday life when you do not have any eye complaint, you should get your eyes checked about everyone or two years to make sure they are healthy. However, if you have diabetes, it is very important for you to eyes checked more frequently.
In addition, you should get your eyes checked when...
- You get blurry vision or you notice a change in your vision
- You have red, sore, itchy, watery or pussy eyes
- You hurt your eye or have something in your eyes
Remember, as we use our eyes every day, it is important (in fact, essential) to take good care of them. Also, not just you but everyone needs to get their eyes checked on regular basis, whether children or adults. Keep a vigilant eye on your eyes and take immediate notice of early signs of vision problems such as difficulty seeing in low light conditions, frequent floaters, and double vision that may foreshadow possible vision loss.
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