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Common tips to keep your eyes healthy


Your eyes are the important of your senses, and to realize their importance, all you have to do is close them for a few moments and try and do whatever it is that you were doing. You will then realize the importance of vision, and the absolute need to take care of your eyes.

The good part is that taking care of your eyes does not require a great effort, merely a few simple changes in your lifestyle. Here, we discuss the four most important tips that can help you protect your eyes against diseases.

  1. Watch what you eat: It is important to eat well, in order to maintain eye health and to protect them from diseases. A well balanced diet, with all the essential nutrients and micronutrients is imperative for eye health. Special nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, shown to help reduce risk for eye diseases, while vitamin A and C are known to boost eye health. Omega 3 fatty acids are also essential for eye health since they aid tear production, which relieves dry eyes. These are all scavengers of free radicals, keeping your eyes safe from oxidative damage by free radicals.

  2. Annual comprehensive eye exams to diagnose eye diseases early: Several eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic eye disease are symptomatic until very advanced, and so an annual eye check-up ensures that they are diagnosed, and can be managed in the early stages itself. Also, a regular check-up also means that your power of glasses is up to date, and any minor diseases of the eye can also be taken care of.

Unless otherwise specified by your eye doctor, you should visit your eye care professional at least once a year. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that comprehensive eye exams should be performed at least:

At 40: a baseline eye exam

From 40 to 55: an eye exam every 2 to 4 years

Ages 55 to 64: an eye exam every 1 to 3 years

At 65 and up: an eye exam every year

This comprehensive exam includes a thorough history taking, including family history, central vision, color vision, and eye pressure, tests of peripheral vision and also includes a dilated retinal check.

Other tips include

  1. Stop smoking: In addition to being deleterious to your general health, smoking increases your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer. Smoking is associated with several eye diseases also. Smoking increases the risk of developing Age related Macular Degeneration, AMD, and cataracts. It also aggravates the problems relating to dry eyes.

  2. Use sunglasses: Using sunglasses with protection from both UVA and UVB radiation can help protect you from pterygia, cataract and age related macular degeneration. In addition, you must use a sunscreen with a high SPF, since the surrounding eye lid skin is very delicate, and prolonged exposure to harmful solar radiation can increase the chances of skin cancer, like carcinoma and melanoma, which can arise in the eyelids and around the eyes.

  3. Avoid too much screen time: Whether working on a computer, or watching television, too much screen time can lead to strain, dry eyes and what is termed Computer Vision Syndrome. To avoid computer vision syndrome, remember the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds at something that is at least 20 feet away. You may also use over the counter tear supplements, preferably ones that are preservative free, to soother your tired and dry eyes.

  4. Get a regular annual health check: Diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, high serum cholesterol can seriously affect your eyes, and can even cause potentially sight threatening conditions. Other disease like rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, sarcoidosis and tuberculosis can also affect your eye health. An annual health check will ensure that all of your metabolic parameters are evaluated, and treatment started as early as possible.

Remember, healthy eyes reside in a healthy body, and the general rules of fitness and health must never be ignored.


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