With the advent of computers and digitalised workplaces, we live in a world where we find ourselves increasingly doing things that strain our eyes. Yet there’s plenty we do that relies on good eyesight, like driving, so it’s something of a catch-22 situation. Of course, we don’t have to lie down and accept it. Here are some very simple things you can do to help maintain healthy vision.
An eye-friendly diet
Did you know that something as simple as what you eat can improve your eyesight? It’s true – many studies have shown that getting enough nutrients like omega three fatty acids (found in fish), lutein, zinc and vitamins E and C are said to ward off long and short sightedness, macular degeneration and even cataracts. A healthy diet is also the best way of avoiding weight-related conditions like diabetes – one of the leading causes of blindness in adults.
Foods to stock up on include:
• Leafy vegetables and salads – think spinach and kale, which are great sources of vitamin C and iron.
• Salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish – best to lightly grill and serve with lemon.
• Eggs, nuts and beans are excellent non-meat protein sources and are great for maintaining healthy eyes.
• Oranges, satsumas, clementines and other citrus fruits – or even just fruit juices.
As much as we all like to see the sun, our eyes aren’t always so happy with that decision. Too much exposure to UV can lead to the development of cataracts and can cause macular degeneration. The best way to avoid these is to get a good quality pair of sunglasses that don’t just look the part, but do the job too. You want to choose a pair that block between 99 and 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light if you want them to be genuinely effective. Even if you wear UV protective contact lenses, it’s still advisable you wear a pair of shades, too.
The introduction of hazardous airborne materials into your eyes can, after time, end up doing tremendous damage. Even simple things like sawdust contain some very damaging chemicals. To avoid this, make sure you wear the right protection – the same goes for sports. If you play anything physical that potentially might do actual damage to your eyes, get the right protection and make sure it’s good quality protection, too. For instance, a cheap fencing mask might not stop that epee blade heading straight for your eye – but a good one will.
Most of us nowadays spend the majority of our lives hunched over and staring at a computer screen, not just at work, but at home, too. After a time, concentrating on such detail can cause eye strain and eventually lead to short-sightedness.
Some simple preventative measures you can take are to position the computer slightly below eye level, so you always look down at the screen. This can help with the glare. Another good idea is to rest your eyes at regular intervals, by looking away from the screen for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You should also take a good 15 minute break from your screen every two hours.
Don’t let it get worse
If you feel your eyesight is beginning to deteriorate, don’t ignore it. Without treatment, your eyesight will degenerate even quicker. Get to an optician as soon as possible and they can help, often with something as simple as reading glasses.
If you already wear glasses and you feel your eyesight is holding you back, it’s really worth looking into laser-eye surgery. This offers the more permanent solution of correcting your eyesight, rather than just providing you with aids that often need to be strengthened over time. You might think these procedures are expensive, but the cost has dropped dramatically over the years. In fact, surveys suggest that laser eye surgery is almost as popular as glasses. Find out more about the cost of laser eye surgery.
Your eyesight is often considered the most important of the senses, and rightly so.
It can affect many day-to-day things, such as work and driving. If you feel you are experiencing any trouble with your eyesight, make sure you have it checked out straight away.