Healthy vision is important for an individual’s quality of life. Here, we list five simple tips to help maintain good eye health and prevent eye disorders.
Seeing is believing. Literally. There is no other human sense that has such an important effect on the perception and understanding of our surroundings. The mechanism of sight is one of the most complex physiological processes in our body. It involves the eyes, brain, nerves, and complicated physicochemical interactions between them.
Eyes are the first organ to interact with the environment and pass on the signal to the rest of the body. Hence, having good eye health takes precedence over many other health-related routines and should be well-grounded in daily habits from a very young age.
Here are 5 simple tips to help maintain good eye health from childhood and throughout adulthood:
1. Prevent physical injury to the eye
Kids and adults should wear eye protection while playing sports. Sports and games such as hockey, tennis, baseball, basketball and paintball cause thousands of eye injuries.
Physical eye injuries are very common among small children not only at play but also at home. At home, it is important to arrange your house in a toddler-safe manner by moving away sharp objects and securing corners or other pointy items.
You can also easily injure yourself in a cluttered home, especially if you have alcohol in your system. Alcohol disrupts many healthy brain functions. One of these is eye muscle relaxation. It is much easier to lose your balance and fall down as the result of combined blurry vision and impaired judgment.
2. Wear sunglasses
Did you know your eyes can get sunburned just like your skin? While this is a short and usually easy condition, excessive exposure to UV light leads to other serious eye diseases. These include macular degeneration and several kinds of cataract, two major causes to blindness worldwide. Remember to protect your eyes during any outdoor activity.
3. Eat nutritious food
If there are not enough reasons to eat fruits and vegetables regularly, here is another one. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. These foods reduce the chances of getting age-related macular degeneration. Some examples to excellent sources of these vitamins are broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, sweet potatoes and spinach.
4. See a professional regularly
It is important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis. Do not wait for uncomfortable feelings or unusual pain to go away on their own. Some eye conditions become symptomatic only when it is too late to cure or prevent them.
5. Give your eyes a break
Most people continuously stare at some kind of screen for long periods of time. Whether this is during work, play, or time off, we regularly use screens to get things done and entertain ourselves.
To make it easier on our eyes, optometrists suggest the “20-20-20” rule. After 20 minutes of looking at a screen, you should rest your eyes for 20 seconds and gaze at an object 20 feet or further away from you.
Another factor to be aware of is the blue light emitted from most types of screens, such as smartphones, televisions, and computer monitors. Although there is no direct experimental evidence that blue light is harmful to the eye, you should be mindful about the time spent on digital devices and let your eyes rest. This is especially true for people who work on the computer for most of the day. The 20-20-20 rule is a simple way to remember how to do it.
While maintaining good eye health seems intuitive, it is easily neglected in everyday routines. It is important to be mindful of your of these efforts in order to maintain healthy vision.
Written by Marina Chemerovski-Glikman, PhD
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- Ratnayake, K., Payton, J. L., Lakmal, O. H. &Karunarathne, A. Blue light excited retinal intercepts cellular signaling. Sci. Rep.8, 1–16 (2018).