9 Ways To Protect Your Eyesight
One of the most essential things we can do to maintain our quality of life is protect our eyesight.
Vision loss increases with age, and one in every six adults deals with a sight-threatening eye problem. Some of the leading causes of blindness and low vision are age-related diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, but there are ways we can fight back.
1. Learn If You Are At Risk for Eye Disease
Does your family have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure? Are you over 65 years old or an African-American over age 40? Factors like these contribute to your risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases, so make sure you’re aware of them.
2. Avoid Overusing Electronic Devices
At work or at home, most of us end up staring either at our phones, television, or laptop screens for most part of the day. Overusing electronic devices causes your eyes to be exposed to blue light. A lot of us experience discomfort when staring at the screens for too long, causing eye strain or dry eyes. This is known as digital eyestrain. Blue light not only affects the eyes, but too much exposure can disrupt the sleep cycles, making it harder to sleep at night.
The easiest way to avoid eye strain from blue light is by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes on an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This can provide relief from the strain.
3. Use Chemical-Free Eye Drops
If you suffer from dry eyes or redness in your eyes, the easy-way-out for immediate relief would be a bottle of eye drops. In fact, a lot of people turn to eye drops because it is easily available and don’t even require a doctor’s prescription.
However, using eye drops, especially those containing chemicals, could be doing more harm than good for your eyes. Many ingredients go into an eye drop bottle, including preservatives that increase the shelf-life. These added chemicals could increase eye irritation and cause other damage. Sometimes, the tip of the bottle could get contaminated by contact with other surfaces, which could temporarily blur your vision. Using expired eye drops is a definite no-no because it could lead to an eye infection.
Before using eye drops, it is better to talk to your eye doctor and know what you can do to ease dry eyes or redness. Before purchasing an eye drop, it is a good practice to read the label carefully. Using natural eye moisturizers may help your problem.
4. Avoid Using Expired Makeup Products
The products you use around your eyes also play an important role in eye health. Eye shadows, eyeliners, and stick-on eyelashes are some products that are used in and around the eyes. Using poor-quality makeup products or, even worse, expired ones can cause irritation, dry eyes, or eye conditions like conjunctivitis. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution even with your makeup.
5. Remove Contact Lenses before Sleep
Contact lenses are perfect to make you look glamorous at a party. They come in different colors and you could look your best and feel good about yourself. Some of us use them almost every day to avoid the burden of heavy glasses. Whatever may be your reason for using contact lenses, it is important to remove them before you prepare yourself for bed.
During the day, your eyes are in contact with a number of irritants and your lenses may become a breeding ground for bacteria. Wearing contact lenses also reduces the available oxygen and sleeping with these on can cause corneal infection, dryness, and other irritation.
6. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The way you live can have a huge impact on your overall health, and that includes your eyes. Eating healthy foods, including plenty of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables will help your eyes stay healthy, as will regular exercise. And as we can improve our health by maintaining these kinds of good habits, we can also stay healthier by avoiding bad habits like smoking, as smoking increases a person’s risk of developing a number of sight-threatening conditions.
7. Be On the Watch for Changes in Your Vision
Whenever you notice a change in your vision, you should come see us right away. It could be something as simple as needing an updated prescription for your glasses or contacts, but symptoms like red eyes, flashes of light, a sudden increase in the number of floaters you see, and eye pain or swelling may be signs of serious eye problems that need immediate attention.
8. Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays
Even people with no predisposition for eye disease need eye protection from the sun, but it’s not as simple as grabbing the nearest cheap pair of sunglasses you can find. Make sure that the pair you wear block 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays before you buy them, because sunglasses that don’t block UV rays can actually be worse than no sunglasses at all.
9. Schedule Regular Eye Exams
You might think that your vision is fine and that your eyes are healthy because they are not causing you any trouble. But, the only way to confirm this is to visit your eye doctor and perform the eye exam.
A lot of people, especially children, don’t realize that they can see better with glasses unless they are introduced to them. In addition, common eye conditions like glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration often have no symptoms at all during the initial stages of the disease. These can be confirmed only with an eye exam and treating them right from the beginning may help reduce their effects on vision.
Our eyes are an essential part of our body and good eye health is important to maintain overall health. So let’s start treating our eyes with full heart from today.