If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then keeping them cystal-clear and healthy will only do you more good. These twelve tips ensure healthy eyesight for longer!
1. Watch your plate
The food you choose to eat always affects everything in you: Be careful of what's on your plate, and always try to maintain a balanced diet. Foods rich in Vitamins C, E and A, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc are known to prevent sight degeneration that normally comes with age. A balanced diet can also prevent the onset of diabetes, a major contributor to adult eye deficiency. Conditions like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts are present in almost 50% of adults diagnosed with diabetes. In order to ensure healthy vision through age, make these yummy treats a part of your daily diet to ensure good eye health at any age:
- Eggs, beans, nuts and protein-rich foods that are not meat
- Oily fish rich in omega-3 like salmon and tuna
- Take a page out of Popeye's book and have green leafy vegetables like spinach daily
- Citrus fruits like oranges
- Vitamin A, lycopene, and beta-carotene rich foods like carrots, apricots and blueberrie
2. Beat the UV!
Sunglasses don't only make you look cool and mysterious, but they are also one of the most preventive ways of ensuring healthy eyesight for much longer. Prolonged UVA and UVB ray exposure damage the eyes by causing macular degeneration and cataracts, and yes, cloudy days are no safeguard against the dangerous rays either. Always choose sunglasses that provide at least 99% UV protection, but keep in mind that cheap, counterfeit frames aren't always safe-- they are fake for a reason. Contact lenses and prescription glasses can also be specified to contain a UV coating, so just because they aren't tinted doesn't mean they don't protect against the sun!
3. Bad light, bad sight
Reading glasses aren't the most fashionable things around, especially when the time comes that you'll have to carry them wherever you go. Always read under soft, white lighting that doesn't have too much glare. Remember that overly-bright lights are just as bad as dim lights, and will cause eye strain just as easily. The soft lighting keeps your muscles relaxed enough to focus on small details like book text.
4. Never forget to remove that eye makeup!
Most women tend to be lazy about removing eye makeup, but in reality, skipping this time-consuming practice is doing you way more harm than you realize. Makeup can buildup around the eyelids and eyelashes, getting into open pores and attracting dirt and bacteria-- most especially when an eyelash falls off. Styes are a common problem, but more serious infections like conjunctivitis are just a mascara-wand away from harming you. Stay away from makeup removers that contain alcohol, and veer towards milder alternatives like baby oil, vaseline, or any water-based makeup removers.
5. Moisturize and lubricate
Cold weather, air conditioning, salt water and chlorine are just some of the factors that can cause dry eyes. If blinking to make some tears isn't enough, then keeping around a mild saline solution will help in moisturizing and lubricating your tired peepers on the go. Dry eyes is a condition that doesn't sound too bad, but in reality, requires medical attention.
Drinking eight glasses of water isn't enough, especially if all you own are demitasse cups and shot glasses. Make sure to get at least 2 liters of water in your system everyday, which isn't just good for your overall health, but will greatly help in reducing your chances of having eye problems in old age.
7. Screen glare
The computer may be man's greatest invention, but just look at all the kids on gaming consoles all day wearing glasses at the age of 6-- you don't want that happening to your children, right? The blue light glare from television screens, computer LCDs, cellular phones and the like can cause serious eye strain and macular degeneration. Overly vivid and bright screens are just as bad, causing your eyes to focus beyond their means.
Natural, healthy food contains loads of nutrients that nourish the body. Antioxidants, however, help in removing free radicals in the body that contribute to aging. Certain foods like the bilberry shrub, honey or the acai berry are loaded with antioxidants that cleanse the system and promote healthy eyesight.
9. The curious case of contact lenses
If glasses aren't your thing and laser surgery is too expensive, contact lenses are a good enough alternative, just as long as you aren't going to be lazy about the whole routine. Since they sit directly on your eyes, cleaning and disinfecting your hands, the lenses themselves and their case is a must. Just like eye makeup, debris and protein build up in your lenses if they aren't handled properly. Also, disposable contact lenses should only be used for as long as stated on the packaging.
10. The 20/20/20 rule
When working long hours on the computer or on anything that requires a lot of eye strain (painting, reading, sewing, etc) always remember the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a break and for 20 seconds, look at something 20 feet away or further to relax your strained eye muscles. This practice prevents the blurred vision syndrome often experienced after strenuous work by re-focusing your vision. Rubbing your hands together briskly and pressing your warm palms on your eyes is also a quick fix for tired eyes.
11. Keep it clean
The biggest threat to your eyesight is bacteria. It's everywhere, and on anything you touch. Refraining from touching your face or rubbing your eyes when your hands aren't clean will greatly prevent the growth of bacteria. Likewise, hand sanitizers or just plain soap and water will keep the nasty germs at bay.
12. Don't fear the doc!
Make sure to have your eyes checked every twelve months, and every six months for people that require glasses and contact lenses. For those blessed with 20/20 vision, bad reading habits and computer eye strain are causes for astigmatism-- a condition that can be treated by your doctor if caught early enough.