For those of us who are focused on maintaining good health, we try to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and avoid processed foods to prevent disease. But few of us stop to think about the health of our eyes and what we should be doing to prevent damage as we age. The good news is that there are a few effective things everyone can do to help protect their eyes. Here are 7 healthy habits for your eyes that you can easily adopt today.
Take Breaks from Your Devices
It’s important to unplug every so often. Constant use of your devices can cause eye strain and other vision problems over time. Take a break every 20 minutes and start by looking and focusing on an object that’s a good few feet away. This will help relax your eyes and force you to blink. Blinking helps lubricate the eyes, reducing strain. Plus, blinking is how your eyes naturally wash away debris and other foreign objects that could cause damage.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Your eye health starts with a healthy, balanced diet. A deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals can result in serious vision issues like macular degeneration and even blindness. To protect your eyes, stock up on leafy greens, colourful vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fatty fish. Foods that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids will optimize your eye health.
Clean Your Hands Frequently
When you touch your eye, whatever is on your finger goes directly inside. Keeping your hands clean can help keep bacteria and other debris from entering your eyes. It’s also important to wash your hands before you remove contact lenses to prevent eye infections like pink eye.
UVA and UVB light can damage your eyes over time. Over exposure can also result in blurred vision, light sensitivity, pain, cataracts, macular degeneration, and even permanent vision loss. You can protect your eyes from ultraviolet light by wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection when outside. The best sun protection lenses include transition lenses, tinted sunglasses, and those with anti-glare coatings.
Safely Store Your Contacts
Dirty contact lenses can allow bacteria to enter your eye, leading to infection. To store and handle your contacts safely, remember to never reuse the solution, and never touch your contacts without washing your hands. You should also regularly clean out the contact case and properly secure the lid to prevent any air-borne contaminants from getting inside.
Wear Eye Protection
When necessary, it’s important to wear proper eye protection. This can include wearing protective glasses when using power tools, when participating in impact sports, working with chemicals, and when working in an area that has flying objects or dust. Adequate eye protection is the best defence against eye injuries.
Get an Annual Checkup
Wearing the wrong prescription can give you headaches, blurry vision and even ruin your eyesight. That’s why it’s important to make regular visits to your eye doctor to check whether your prescription has changed. Your eye doctor will also look for any early signs of eye disease that you may have.
Not taking care of your eyes can have many short term and long term consequences. Fortunately, many vision problems can be avoided by taking the right steps every day to care for your eyes. The most important of those steps is to visit your eye care professional annually or if you notice any changes to your vision before your next appointment. Contact us at Laurier Optical today to book your next appointment.