Tips to maintain healthy eyes are plenty. Simply following some basic ones can easily help you maintain healthy eyes. It is also very easy to neglect your eyes while focusing on other health conditions. Many times in our practice as optometrists, we see patients who have been referred by their physicians to go for eye examinations. Sometimes, you might go to your doctors with complaints of headache, dizziness, or other symptoms, but a good eye examination would reveal some underlying health issues.
Take some of these simple steps to maintain good eye health:
Eat healthy diets
When you eat healthy balanced diets, you reduce your chances of developing eye diseases. Include leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet to maintain good eye health and good health in general. Though the economy is tough, eating healthy does not always entail spending too much. Nigeria is blessed with fruits and vegetables at all seasons. Eating the ones that are in season is always cheaper than going for those out of season.
For a healthy balanced diet consider things like
- Natural Oily fish which contains omega-3
- Leafy vegetables like spinach
- Dark green vegetables which contain lutein
- Vitamins A, C, and E containing fruits like eggs, carrots, oranges, avocado, etc
- Fruits that contain Vitamin
Familydoctor.org lists fruits and vegetables containing vitamins A C and E as follows
Vitamin A – Eggs, milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe
Vitamin C – Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, and red and green bell peppers
Vitamin E – Avocados, nuts, seeds, whole-grain foods, and spinach, and other dark leafy greens
Note: You might need to supplement your nutrition if certain conditions run in your family or you have one already. For instance, a family history of central vision loss in your family may require taking nutritional supplements. Your optometrist is in the best position to recommend an appropriate nutritional supplement for this condition called macular degeneration. It may interest you to read – Who Do I See: An Optician, Optometrist, or Ophthalmologist?
Get regular eye exams
A regular eye exam is so vital. In fact, if you have not had a comprehensive eye exam in the last year, book an appointment with your optometrist after reading this. It could be a very important step to good health beyond even healthy eyes. This is because, a good eye exam can lead to the detection of signs of some health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc
So do well to regularly visit your optometrist for comprehensive eye exams. As Eye care specialists, we recommend you do so at least annually and more regularly if there exists some family history of eye conditions or other systemic conditions like diabetes.
Know your family history
Many eye conditions, just like so many other health conditions, can be hereditary. Even when not exactly hereditary, your risk could increase if some eye conditions run in your family. These could include simple conditions like shortsightedness and longsightedness, to more complex conditions like glaucoma. Researching to know a condition that runs in your family will help to detect likely eye health diseases before they become advanced. For instance, glaucoma is known a the ‘thief of sight’. This is because it can develop without symptoms until some sight is lost. Unfortunately, any lost vision cannot be retrieved again. But knowing that a family member has it and informing your optometrist, will help him or her to schedule a regular checkup to nip it in the bud. Glaucoma can be managed but cannot be cured. When detected early, progression can be significantly stopped. So know your family’s eye health history and take precautions.
To learn more about the THIEF OF SIGHT – Glaucoma and Why You Should Care, click here
Take regular breaks from near work.
Near work involves focusing your eyes on the desktop computer, mobile phone, tablet, or other digital devices. Any of these activities increases muscular demands placed on your eyes. Often, this extra strain could result in headaches, neck pain, or cause tiredness. These symptoms can also be experienced by those without any eye condition.
With increased online activities these days and the remote work model, most people are focused on one digital device or the other. This especially got worse with the global coronavirus pandemic and follow-up lockdowns. Screen time increased for the majority of people. As you take care of your general health, you must also do good to take care of your eyes.
Research shows you can give your eyes some relief by following the ‘20-20-20’ rule. Take a break from the screen every 20 minutes with 20 seconds of rest by looking at objects 20 feet away. To follow the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. And don’t forget to blink, as this helps prevent your eyes from drying out. You must remember not to assume this as a substitute for a regular eye exam.
These are essential eye health tips. Of course, there are many other simple eye health tips. Start your eye health journey with the essential tips like eating healthy, getting regular eye exams, knowing your family history, and taking a break from near work. The other simple eye health tips which are equally important include wearing your prescribed glasses, always using sunglasses outdoors, avoiding smoking, avoiding dry eyes which can result by directly facing air conditioners, wearing safe eye goggles if working in a factory, avoiding over the counter and traditional eye medications, etc. Following these tips and any other advice from your optometrist or other eye health professionals will surely help you maintain good eye health.
A visit to your optometrist will help you get more eye health tips.
Useful References You Can Read To Learn More
Healthy Eyes by Bausch + Lomb
How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy by WebMD
20 Tips for Optimal Eye Health by Iris Vision
Who Do I See: An Optician, Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?