Maintaining healthy eyesight is a vital part of healthcare. Your eyes are one of your most essential senses. Looking at the numbers, almost 80% of perception comes through the eyes. We rely on this organ to see and decipher our immediate environment.
However, having an excellent vision does more than help your day-to-day navigation as it’s vital in keeping the mind healthy. The brain has a closely-knitted relationship with the eyes through optic nerves, contributing to the overall quality of life.
Your eyes are so important as their state can indicate diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, brain tumors, liver disease, and several blood conditions.
Before we give a detailed guide on eyecare, here are factors that can put your eye health at risk.
Top Factors Affecting Eye Health
Eye damage can stem from several reasons. However, these are the main contributors:
Exposure to UV Rays
Ultraviolet rays endanger the eyes in more ways than most people imagine. Thus, getting yourself a pair of sunshades is a good investment that is vital in protecting your vision.
Prolonged UV exposure increases your risk of developing cataracts, dry eyes, or pterygium – little growths on the eye surface that can spread to the cornea if left undetected.
An unhealthy diet is a risk factor for several ailments, including vision-related forms. Poor eating habits are responsible for diseases like hypertension which, in turn, can cause vision loss.
Extended Screen Time
We are spending more time in front of our devices than ever before. When we look at screens, we rarely blink—this action results in eye irritation, dryness, blurred vision, and even headaches. Focusing on a screen for extended periods causes increased eye strain.
Smokers are more likely to experience deterioration of their eyes than non-smokers. Besides aging, smoking is the only definitive cause of macular degeneration. Smoking has connections with eye conditions like cataracts and corneal dystrophy – swelling of the cornea that causes vision loss.
Lack of Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle causes blood pressure-related issues that can affect the retina. High cholesterol levels and diabetes are consequences of lack of exercise, resulting in vision problems.
Improper Use of Contact Lenses
Millions of people worldwide use contact lenses daily, and it’s easy for you to become complacent about lens care.
Unhealthy practices like cleaning lenses with liquids other than the recommended solution or topping up the solution with water can increase the risk of potentially eye-damaging infections.
Top 5 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Eyes
With the human eyes coming off as one of the most important sensory organs, protecting yours is necessary.
If you’re willing to take concerted steps to accomplish this endeavor seamlessly, you might want to imbibe these five tips for healthy eyesight:
Maintaining Healthy Eyesight With Proper EyeWear
Prescription glasses, sunshades, and contact lenses also help maintain eye health and improve vision. Here, it’s pertinent to note that personal preferences, budget, comfort, and aesthetics often determine an individual’s preferred eyewear.
For instance, glasses require little cleaning, and they don’t make contact with your eyes. This optical solution protects your eyes from wind, dust, and debris. It’s also an effective way of bringing out your inner “fashionista.”
On the flip side, contact lenses touch your eyes directly, resulting in unimpeded peripheral vision. Contact lenses also allow you to exercise and remain unaffected by weather. Having said that, contacts lens wearers should learn proper contact lens care if they want to maintain healthy eyesight. Additionally, it’s important to remember to use eye drops regularly to keep your eyes lubricated and comfortable throughout the day.
Have a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Check
Since many eye disorders do not give warnings before they become full-blown, it’s easy to think your eyes are healthy.
Until a professional eye care specialist conducts an eye examination, many people do not realize that contacts or glasses can drastically improve their vision.
In a dilated eye check, the specialist dilates your eyes with drops, allowing more light to pass through so they can examine your eyes thoroughly for signs of damage. The specialist then uses a magnifying lens to examine the optic nerves, retina, and macula tissues.
That said, other tests to assess the state of your eyes and vision include:
Visual Acuity Tests
Visual acuity tests check how well you can read symbols or letters from varying distances. These tests are constants at driver’s license bureaus and other organizations to determine how well you can see.
Tonometry measures the internal pressure of the eye. Additionally, it screens for glaucoma and can determine progress levels for glaucoma treatment.
Visual Field Test
A visual field test measures your entire scope of vision. For context, it helps determine how far you can see in any direction without moving and how sensitive your eyesight is in different parts of the visual field.
The visual field test is a proven test that can find blind spots caused by glaucoma, trauma, brain tumors, stroke, and other diseases.
Maintaining A Healthy Diet
It would be best to incorporate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3-fatty acids for good eyesight. Notable mentions include tuna, salmon, and halibut. Also, you may have heard of the connection between carrots and good vision.
Carrots, bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes contain compounds called carotenoids, which give these fruits their pigmentation and prevent the evolution of eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. These foods in your diet will help keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision.
Keeping Fit and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Engaging in regular exercises to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight is essential for your eye health. Being obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a solid precursor to cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
Exercises also reduce intraocular pressure, thus preventing the development of glaucoma. With regular exercise, you can control the progression of macular degeneration.
You harm your vision significantly when you smoke. Smoking is the principal non-age-related cause of macular degeneration.
It also increases your risk of developing cataracts and optic nerve damage, resulting in partial or complete vision loss. So for your eye health, it’ll be best to quit smoking or not start at all.
Rest Your Eyes
Work or study may mean that you unavoidably have to spend long periods in front of screens. To prevent an impending eye issue, you can try to look 20 feet in front, away from your screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes (the 20-20-20 rule).
Adhering to this simple rule reduces eye strain and helps your vision. Additionally, you can try frequently blinking whenever you’ve had your eyes set on a screen for an extended period.
The eyes are our most delicate senses, so it’s necessary to be intentional about caring for your eyes. Following proper eye care tips and getting the right eyewear goes a long way in maintaining eye health and ensuring clear vision.