We only have one pair of eyes to last us our lifetime.
So don’t you think it makes sense that we should do whatever it takes to keep our eyes healthy to make sure they last us as long as possible?
Our eyes may be a bit on the small side, but putting that aside they have an incredibly important job to do.
The fact is, we depend on our eyes far more than we probably realize.
Not only do they give us the visual picture of what’s in front of us, they also help us sense danger, bring vivid colors to our memories and are instrumental how we respond to any given circumstance or situation.
Have you ever cried watching a breathtakingly emotional scene in a movie?
But why did you? You don’t know those people, they are all actors, and yet we can be moved to tears by visual stimuli.
You see someone crying or smiling, you see a child in danger, and you see a homeless person with a sign that you read asking for help.
All these things bring forth an emotional response, showing us that the power of the eye really is astonishing.
Over time though, our eyes begin to change.
We may notice it early on in life, or we might not have much in the way of vision changes until well into our 40’s or 50’s.
Either way, gradually and very slowly, our eyes will begin to deteriorate.
That said, it’s critical we learn how to care for our eyes to ensure they last an entire lifetime.
So, let’s go over some of the most valuable tips and tricks for eye protection to keep them from getting worse, or at least slow them down.
We Need a Healthy Diet and Quality Sleep
A diet rich in antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, is a great start for eye health.
You can find these in dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach.
There are other nutrient rich foods for eyesight improvement as well.
Our body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, an essential vitamin, which is great for eye health and vision.
Beta carotene can be found in many fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, grapefruit and carrots.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids can be beneficial as well
A number of studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids may help protect adult eyes.
Diets rich in omega-3 EFAs are associated with a decreased risk of late-stage age-related macular degeneration.
Good sources of Omega 3s include, oily fish such as, Mackerel, Salmon and Sardines.
There also plant based sources like, nuts and seeds which are rich in ALA but need to be converted.
And then there are Algae oils, which are not only rich in important DHA and EPA but also help to protect our fish stocks, for those of us that are concerned about the planet.
Getting enough good quality sleep is how we give our eyes a much-needed break, after all they are hard at work from morning until night and need to recharge.
Our eyes can in fact give us plenty of signals that they need some downtime, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, burning and itching.
So, pay attention and listen to them!
Don’t Miss Your Eye Exams
Staying on top of our annual eye exams is a critical part of keeping our eyes healthy.
The eye care professional can detect infections and disorders that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
Unfortunately for some of us, many diseases of the eye can lead to loss of vision and even total blindness.
Stay on Top of Chronic Health Issues
There is no magic pill or remedy to stop the aging process and with aging comes the side effect of diminishing vision.
However, managing chronic health issues that could potentially cause other eye conditions is imperative.
Diabetes comes with a whole host of progressive eye diseases when left unmanaged.
Don’t leave your eyes up to chance; manage your overall health to protect your eyes from getting worse!
Wear Quality Sunglasses and Hats
Invest in some good quality sunglasses and wear those hats! It’s not just about making a fashion statement anymore; we need to protect our eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays which come from direct sunlight.
And just in case you weren’t aware, your eyes can be sunburned just like your skin! Ouch.
An additional benefit of wearing sunglasses and hats is that our eyes won’t have to strain so much under the glaring sun.
Try to Cut Down the Screen Time
Unless you live completely off the grid, screens are everywhere, and we are becoming more and more dependent upon them.
If staring at a computer is how you make a living, be sure to take breaks for the sake of your eyes.
We tend to blink way less when we are looking at something up close, which can lead to dry eyes, so it’s a good idea to try and stay away from screens as much as possible when we aren’t working.
Start to Dim the Lights
Blue light rays are both good and bad for us.
Although sunlight is the main source of blue light, it’s also found in fluorescent lighting, LED lights and the backlight of computer screens, tablets and smartphones.
Glaring lights mean our eyes must work even harder, so if you spend a lot of time at a computer screen, try using an anti-flare filter and turn the brightness down a little.
By dimming the lights, we can reduce the rate of exposure on our eyes.
Scarily enough, researchers have suggested that long-term exposure to high amounts of blue light could damage retinal cells.
Giving up Smoking
Smoking puts you at higher risk for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, as well as problems with dry eyes.
The cyanide in smoke that reaches your bloodstream can be very damaging to the cells in your eyes.
This is just another point to add to your list of reasons for quitting sooner rather than later.
Don’t underestimate the need for proper eyecare and preventive measures.
We can’t stop the natural aging process, but the precautions above will help stave off premature worsening of our vision.