Maintaining good health includes protection of our eyes. Even though vision problems are often caused by age-related eye conditions, it does not mean that we can neglect caring for our sight, even when we are young- checking up on our vision and caring for our eye sight becomes more important the older we get.
We should help the built-in defenses we have, such as our eyelids, eyelashes, and corneas- the clear domes that protect the iris and pupil. We can also take additional steps to protect our eyes and keep them fit and healthy.
Here are 8 practical tips:
- Pay attention to changes in your vision
Signs and symptoms to look out for are sudden blurry, hazy, or double vision occurences in one or both eyes; sudden or gradual loss of central vision; narrowing, or sudden reduction in your field of view; blind, dark, or red spots in your field of view; difficulty seeing in low-light; seeing flashes of light, floaters, or eye pain. If you notice any of these, contact your nearest eye care professional (optician, optometrist, or eye doctor) immediately.
- Note your family history
Be aware of your family's eye health and health history in general. Do you know if anyone in your family suffer from diabetes, or have a history of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or high blood pressure? Ask your family members about their eye health and general health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with these kinds of diseases or conditions since some are hereditary. Any of these traits can increase your risk for eye diseases or eye conditions.
- Use protective eyewear
Wear protective glasses whenever damage to the eyes is possible, for example with home improvement work like gardening, or using cutting or grinding machines. Even when exercising outdoors, you should consider wearing protective glasses.
- Protection from UV rays
Wear prescription glasses or sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays when you are outdoors during the day, and even on cloudy days.
- Blue light emission
Artificial lamps and digital screens generate some amount of blue light which has been implicated as harmful. Take regular breaks from your computer screen and get protective lens coatings which reduce the amount of blue light emitted by modern lamps and digital devices.
- Keep healthy
Your diet matters. Antioxidants can reduce the risk of cataracts. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Drink water regularly, we need it to produce tears. If you have dry eyes, consider using artificial tear drops.
- Avoid smoking
It is known to increase the risk of developing age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Exercise regularly
What is good for your general health is usually good for your eye health.
Some of these tips seem obvious, but those are usually the ones that are easiest to forget. Others might be almost unknown like the emission of blue light from the artificial light emitted from modern lamps and screens. Regardless of which, you should consider these tips and try to turn some of them into a regular routine. You will see the point later. Literally.