Easy Tips To Maintain Your Eye Health
Our eyesight is easy to take for granted—until something goes wrong with it. That’s why making the right choices in life now can mean much more to our future vision than we might ever suspect.
When it comes to our eyes, our overall health and lifestyle can have a rather large influence on their condition over time. There are many cases where the things you are doing to give yourself a healthier overall life are benefitting your eyes, too. And that’s great!
But then there may be mistakes you are making that you don’t fully realize, either. That’s not so great.
We want you to have the best eyesight possible throughout your life. What helps, and what doesn’t? Here are some easy tips for eye health to make part of your day-to-day choices.
We went into diet in more detail in our previous blog post, but this can never be repeated enough.
Our eyes need the right nutrients to operate at optimal health, and most of them are not made naturally within our bodies. That includes stuff like antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and C, and zinc.
What are the best sources for these nutrients? Green, leafy vegetables, fruits, and fish like salmon and fatty tuna! And if not those, then at least take a supplement to fill in the nutritional gaps you are missing.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
This goes hand-in-hand with eating well, but maintaining an ideal weight is another essential element toward eye health. Excess weight increases the risk of developing diabetes or other chronic conditions. These, in turn, tend to be connected to increased risks of eye disease and glaucoma.
Eat the right things and aim for at least 30 minutes of activity per day. It’s a good general rule for life that will also have a positive impact on your eyes.
Care for Your Contact Lenses Properly
If you’re one of the around 40 million Americans who wear contact lenses, odds are pretty good you know how it feels if you have left your contacts in too long. Your eyes will certainly thank you for following the right procedures and removing and maintaining your lenses when needed. This applies whether they are disposable or not.
Not using your contact lenses correctly can lead to redness, pain, irritation, and temporary blurred or fuzzy vision. If you’re particularly unlucky, you might also get an inflamed cornea, also known as keratitis.
And when following the guidelines to keep your contact lenses clean and installing them properly, don’t forget to wash your hands as well. You’re basically putting your finger to your eye, after all!
Use Those Shades
We know that there is a significant portion of the year around here when the sun isn’t really a factor and actually seeing that yellow ball in the sky is something you might want to take in without something in your way. Nevertheless, too much sun can be damaging to your eyes.
Sunglasses you use should be marked protective against both UV-A and UV-B rays, as both can cause damage to the eyes. Good standards are blocking at least 95 percent of UV-A and at least 99 percent of UV-B.
If you wear glasses, you do have a couple options. There are the “transition” style lenses that automatically darken in sunlight, but they may not be to everyone’s taste. Others prefer prescription sunglasses instead, but you will want to keep good track of your “standard” glasses while wearing them.
Quit Smoking (or Never Start)
Smoking is terrible for much of your body, and your eyes are not excluded. Smoking is linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, and damage to your optic nerve (basically like damaging the wire between your eyes and brain).
If you are currently smoking, we know it can be difficult to quit. The minute you stop smoking for good, though, the better your health becomes. Ask your primary care physician for some help if you need it (and don’t feel one bit ashamed in doing so).
We know this may inspire a related question: what about vaping? Studies are still being conducted on the long-term effects of this brand of nicotine delivery. However, it can still cause some eye irritation. In your best interests of health and saving money, we would still recommend quitting smoking and vaping altogether.
Manage Your Screen Time
We know that it’s impossible nowadays to abstain from computer and phone screens for too long. It’s just a part of most work and life now!
But not giving yourself a break from the screens can be fatiguing to your eyes after some time. This can lead to dry eyes, focusing difficulties, blurry vision, and eyestrain.
Make an effort to turn your eyes away from your screen every 20 minutes. Take a moment to focus on something about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Better yet, get up and take a quick walk around!
The ideal position for a computer screen is having your eyes level with the top of it, so you look slightly downward. Adjust the windows for glare, if needed, and you also might want to experiment with color-shifting programs that give screens friendlier hues for your eyes at night and in low-light situations.
And, of Course, Get Regular Checkups!
There is plenty you can do in your daily life to help your eyes, but making sure to get regular vision and eye health examinations will help you identify and address other problems you might have not known were coming.
Has it been a while since your last eye appointment? Give us a call at (616) 772-2020 to schedule one soon! If you prefer, you can also contact us electronically right on our website.