Most people take the ability of sight for granted, never thinking that they could become blind. Glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and macular degeneration are just a few of the ways one can lose their eyesight. Below, we have broken down the multiple ways one can prevent eye damage and vision loss.
1. Key Nutrients for Eye Health
Having a well-balanced diet high in nutrients from leafy greens, vitamin A, C and omega-3’s is a huge preventative measure which most people over look. In addition, Vitamin’s D and E as well as Bioflavonoids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Zinc are also key nutrients proven to benefit and protect your vision. Fortunately you can find many of these nutrients in foods we eat everyday like carrots, spinach, broccoli, fish, seeds and nuts.
One thing to keep in mind, keeping a healthy and well balanced diet goes beyond just getting the nutrients we need but also helps to prevent diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults. For anyone who has been living with Type 2 diabetes for 5 years or more, it is highly recommended that you receive a dilated eye exam at least once a year!
2. Cloudy with a Chance of UV Damage
You can prevent macular degeneration by wearing sunglasses, but not just any sunglasses. One hundred percent protection is the way to go. Cloudy days may seem like a safe bet, but you can still sustain UV damage from diffused sunlight through the clouds.
3. Sunscreen Protects more than just your Skin
Typically, wearing sunscreen can help prevent skin cancers like carcinoma and melanoma that can form in or around the eyes or eyelids causing severe damage to eye integrity. Using facial sunscreens can greatly reduce the risk of these vision impairing diseases or conditions. It is very important to apply and reapply sunscreen as necessary when out for long periods of time. Furthermore, we cannot stress enough the safety and proper use of these products because where they can help protect your vision, actually getting them into your eye can cause problems of its own! Should this ever occur, immediately flush out your eyes using a clean water source and if irritation and vision impairment occur or continue please contact a eye care professional.
4. Computer Screens, Tablets and Smartphones
In the modern age of computers and the Internet, we are almost completely dependent on tablets, smartphones and other devices to perform tasks for work or entertain ourselves. As a result, our eyes become increasingly strained and damaged due to constant exposure. On average Americans spend 9 hours a day staring at a screen and do not know just how important it is to unplug and look away. The 20-20-20 rule states to focus our eyes on an object roughly 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to help preserve our vision. This is just one of many helpful techniques we can use daily to help minimize strain and stress on our eyes.
5. Eye Exams
Scheduling regular eye exams is another way to help preemptively prevent eye degeneration. Dilated eye exams, while not a typical option, are more recommended to see deeper into the eye in order to spot diseases early on. Whether it be having you read a chart or using a high-powered lens to better inspect your eye, optometrists and ophthalmologists are able to detect diseases and problems earlier then ever before!
6. Injuries and Safety Glasses
Eye injuries can occur without warning, most commonly at home, in the workplace or playing sports. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so they say. Protective eye-wear is relatively inexpensive and often overlooked and can help save your eyesight while working on home improvement projects, especially if you’re Tim Taylor!
7. Quit Unhealthy Activities and Habits
Smoking maybe be cool if you’re James Dean, but in this case can cause blindness due to the increasingly high amounts of carcinogens and toxic ingredients found in all tobacco cigarette brands. Smoking can cause cataracts and is three times more likely to cause macular degeneration.
Some ways smoking can impact your vision is by limiting the amount of oxygen to your macula, damaging blood vessels in your eyes, and/or increasing the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
8. Upkeep of your Mind and Body
Keeping a regular workout routine is another healthy way to prevent vision loss by reducing the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Now we know changing your lifestyle and becoming more active can be difficult for many! Luckily, there are more ways then ever to get active whether it is through the gym, yoga, cycling or even setting motivational goals like completing a marathon. Still even with these options it can be difficulty however, the American Heart Association has come up with countless ideas of different and easy ways to get up and be more active!
9. Good Hygiene
Proper hygiene is just as important when keeping up your eyesight. Germs and bacteria can be damaging by spreading infection, causing irritation or redness and unwanted illness. It is important to disinfect your hands before touching your face and eyes. Many of us make common mistakes on a regular basis when it comes to our hygiene and eye health!
Do you take your makeup off every night before bed?
How often do you rinse your contact lenses before putting them in and when taking them out?
Simple tasks like these are often forgotten or overlooked because they are just that, SIMPLE. We deal with them daily and get so comfortable with cutting corners when we are tired or just being lazy that we forget the potential harm that comes with them.
10. Genes and Family History
Researching your family’s genetics and susceptibilities give you more insight into possible future health issues and a leg up on preventative actions you can take. Our eyesight is one of our most vital senses. Being well informed about the causes of blindness and methods of prevention gives us a better fighting chance at maintaining proper eye health until a more advanced age.
With advances in modern medicine, there’s no telling what the future may hold. Blindness may never plague us again.PreviousNext »