Vision loss is a major problem that disrupts daily life. It’s also more common than you think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for vision loss. Use these daily strategies now to help keep your eyes in good shape for the year ahead.
read more: 12 Best Foods for Eye Health
Want more health tips? Learn why omega-3-rich foods are good for your health, why your glasses fog up, how to stop fogging, and sunglass colors for eye health.
1. Wear sunglasses
Exposing your eyes to UV rays can cause damage over time. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing sunglasses blocks harmful UV rays and reduces the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, sunburn, eye cancer and growths around the eyes. Polarized glasses with smoked or gray lenses provide the best sun protection and reduce glare.
2. Take a break from the screen
Looking at screens for long periods of time can lead to dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, headaches and digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome. The American Optometric Association recommends using the 20-20-20 rule to prevent computer vision syndrome. Every 20 minutes, observe an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Take a break too
Screen time isn’t the only way to tire your eyes. When you read a book, you may also hold it very close to it for long periods of time. Both activities can cause myopia, in which distant objects are blurred and near objects are clear. Just like you should use the 20-20-20 rule for taking screen breaks, you should also use this rule for taking book breaks. If you find yourself engrossed in what you’re reading or doing on the computer, set an alarm so you don’t miss your 20-minute break.
4. Move your body
The AAO reports that regular exercise can benefit eye health, such as promoting healthy blood vessels and reducing the risk of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, plus two days of muscle strength training. You can also practice eye exercises while sitting at your desk to reduce tension and eye strain.
read more: Add More Exercise into Your Daily Life: 7 Steps That Work
5. Go outside
Even if you do the recommended exercises indoors, children and adults need to get outside regularly. Research shows that children who spend time outdoors have a lower risk of developing myopia in adolescence and adulthood. Playing with your kids at the local playground, walking through the woods, or even playing in the backyard can help the whole family stay healthy and active. Be sure to use sunglasses.
As we all know, smoking is harmful to health. It can also increase the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Smokers are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts and four times more likely to develop AMD. Future research may determine whether smoking also causes glaucoma, Graves’ ophthalmopathy, thyroid eye disease and promotes the onset or progression of diabetic retinopathy. To improve your health, develop a plan to quit smoking.
7. Balanced meals
The foods you eat every day can improve your eye health. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc can help cell growth, reduce eye tissue inflammation and limit free radicals that can damage the eyes.
To get the right nutrition for your eyes, follow the AAO’s recommendations and include some of the following foods in your daily, balanced diet:
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene: Apricots, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, red peppers, ricotta cheese, mango.
- Vitamin C: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, red bell peppers.
- Vitamin E: Avocado, almonds, peanut butter, wheat germ, sunflower seeds.
- Omega 3: Halibut, sardines, salmon, tuna, trout.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Kale, broccoli, eggs, peas, kale, spinach, lettuce, turnip greens.
- Zinc: Lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lean red meat, oysters, fortified grains, poultry.
8. Avoid rubbing your eyes
If you habitually rub your eyes, you may cause eye damage or infection. Dry eyes and eye fatigue can make you want to rub your eyes, and some people may rub their eyes too much or too hard. This can lead to problems such as decreased or blurred vision, headaches, inflammation, and eye and light sensitivity. Another reason to avoid rubbing your eyes is that bacteria or viruses on your fingers or hands can cause conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Instead of rubbing your eyes, use eye drops or saline to clean them and keep them moist. Resist the urge and find something else to keep your hands busy until you break this habit.
read more: 7 Home Remedies for Dry, Itchy Eyes
9. Wash your hands
You should wash your hands before touching your face or eyes and before handling contact lenses. Nearly 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, about one-third of wearers develop complications, and one-fifth of contact lens infections result in corneal damage.
Plus, when someone unknowingly contaminates the objects you touch, you have no way of knowing what bacteria are on those objects. The CDC reports that regular handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory illness by up to 21% and diarrheal disease by up to 40%.
10. Makeup removal
After a long day, the last thing you probably think about is taking off your eye makeup before going to bed. Doing so is good for your eye health and can reduce the risk of blepharitis, or eyelid inflammation, according to the Optometrist Network.
You should also practice good makeup habits that protect your skin and eyes, such as using only eye products, changing makeup frequently (especially after an eye infection), not applying eye makeup on the inner eyelids, and never sharing eye makeup with others. other people. If you use a brush or sponge to apply eye makeup, wash it regularly.