Beyond the inconvenience of needing to wear glasses or contacts, vision difficulties can have a major impact on your life over time. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vision loss can reduce your quality of life and increase your risk of depression, diabetes, and other health problems.
Simple everyday activities can help you improve your eye health and lower your chance of future problems.
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation may cause long-term harm to your eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing sunglasses can reduce your risk of eye problems such as cataracts, sunburn, eye cancer, and growths around the eye. Polarized glasses with smoke or gray lenses may provide the highest UV protection and glare reduction.
Use screen breaks
Prolonged screen time can result in dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, headaches, and digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome. To avoid computer vision syndrome, the American Optometric Association suggests following the 20-20-20 rule. Look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Take book breaks, too
Screen time isn’t the only source of eye strain. When you read a book, you typically hold it close to your face for extended periods of time. Both activities can cause nearsightedness, or myopia, which means that distant objects are fuzzy while close-up items are clear. You should utilize the 20-20-20 guideline for book breaks in the same way you would for screen breaks. Set an alarm if you become engaged in what you’re reading or doing on the internet so you don’t miss your 20-minute break.
Move your body
According to the AAO, regular exercise can provide eye health benefits such as encouraging healthy blood vessels and lowering your chance of getting glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The CDC advises at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, including two days of muscle strength training. You can also do eye exercises while seated at your work to alleviate tension and eye strain.
Even if you receive your recommended amount of exercise indoors, children and adults need to get outside frequently. According to research, youngsters who spend time outside have a lower risk of acquiring nearsightedness as adolescents and adults. Playing with your children at the local playground, going for a stroll through the woods, or even playing in the backyard can help the entire family stay healthy and active. Don’t forget to bring your shades!
It is common knowledge that smoking is harmful to one’s health. According to the Food and Drug Administration, it can also increase your chance of acquiring eye illnesses such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. Smokers are two to three times more likely to acquire cataracts and up to four times more likely to get AMD. Future studies may identify whether smoking cigarettes can also induce glaucoma, Graves’ illness, thyroid eye disease, and the beginning or progression of diabetic retinopathy. Create a quitting plan to improve your health.
Eat balanced meals
The foods you eat on a daily basis can help your eye health. Consuming foods high in vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc helps promote cellular growth, reduce inflammation in eye tissue, and limit free radicals that can harm your eyes.
Eat balanced meals that include some of the following foods, as advised by the AAO, to acquire the proper nutrients for your eyes:
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene: Apricots, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, red pepper, ricotta cheese, mango
- Vitamin C: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, red bell pepper
- Vitamin E: Avocados, almonds, peanut butter, wheat germ, sunflower seeds
- Omega-3: Halibut, sardines, salmon, tuna, trout
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Collards, broccoli, eggs, peas, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, turnip greens
- Zinc: Lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lean red meats, oysters, fortified cereals, poultry
Try not to rub your eyes
If you rub your eyes frequently, you risk causing eye damage or infection. Dry eyes and eye strain can cause you to desire to rub your eyes, and some people may rub their eyes excessively or forcefully. This might result in problems such as decreased or blurred vision, headaches, inflammation, and eye and light sensitivity. Another reason to avoid rubbing your eyes is that germs or viruses on your fingers or hands can cause conjunctivitis, sometimes known as pink eye. Instead of rubbing your eyes, use eye drops or saline to clean and moisturize them. Resist the impulse and find something else to do with your hands until you can break the habit. Additionally, you can also read about- 6 Ways to Reduce Claim Denials with Healthcare Revenue
Wash your hands
Before touching your face or eyes, or handling contact lenses, always wash your hands. Almost 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, and one in every three suffers difficulties, with one in every five infections causing ocular damage.
Furthermore, it’s impossible to know what kind of germs are on objects you touch after someone accidentally contaminated them. According to the CDC, washing your hands regularly can reduce your risk of respiratory illness by up to 21% and diarrheal illness by up to 40%.
Take off your makeup
After a hard day, the last thing you want to do is remove your eye makeup before going to bed. However, according to the Optometrists Network, doing so enhances your eye health and can reduce your chance of blepharitis or eyelid irritation.
You should also practice healthy makeup habits that can protect your skin and eyes, such as only using eye-safe products, updating your makeup on a regular basis (particularly after an eye infection), not applying eye makeup to the inner lids, and never sharing eye cosmetics with others. If you use brushes or sponges to apply eye makeup, make sure to wash them on a regular basis.