Our eyes are incredible organs that provide us with the invaluable gift of sight. However, in today's digital age, we often subject our eyes to excessive strain and neglect their overall wellbeing. To maintain healthy vision and prevent potential eye problems in the future, it is crucial to adopt good eye care habits into your everyday routine. Here we will look at some essential practices that can help you maintain optimal eye health and preserve your vision for years to come.
Regular Eye Exams
Scheduling routine eye examinations with an optometrist is vital, even if you have no apparent vision problems. Regular eye check-ups can detect early signs of eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration, allowing for timely treatment and prevention. In most cases, it is recommended that you have your eyes tested every two years. However, you may need more frequent eye exams if you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or neurological conditions, or if you are aged over 50.
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
In our digital-centric lives, our eyes are frequently exposed to screens and devices. To alleviate eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This means every 20 minutes you should shift your gaze away from the screen and focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This practice helps reduce eye fatigue and keeps your eyes refreshed.
Maintain Proper Lighting
Working or reading in poor lighting conditions strains your eyes. Ensure there’s adequate lighting in your workspace and avoid direct glare from light sources. Position your computer screen to minimise reflections and adjust the brightness and contrast settings to suit your comfort. When reading, ensure your room is well-lit or use a reading light.
Follow a Balanced Diet
A nutritious diet benefits not only your overall health but also your eye health. Make sure you incorporate foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants into your meals. These nutrients, found in leafy greens, colourful fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds, promote good eye health and can help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays
Prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your eyes and increase the risk of cancer, cataracts, and other eye conditions. When spending time outdoors, especially in sunny conditions, wear sunglasses that offer a high level of UV protection. Sunglasses with a UV 400 rating filter out between 99% to100% of UV rays, making them the very best option for eye protection.
Additionally, you should also wear a wide-brimmed hat for added protection whenever you are outdoors.
Proper hydration plays a significant role in maintaining healthy eyes. Dehydration can lead to dry eyes, causing discomfort and irritation. Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, at least 8 standard glasses, to keep your eyes properly lubricated. Try to limit your intake of dehydrating beverages such as caffeine and alcohol, as these can exacerbate dryness.
Most of us are aware that smoking is detrimental to our overall health, but it can really impact the health of our eyes, and even lead to vision loss. Research has shown that smoking cigarettes significantly increases the risk of developing cataracts, aged-related macular degeneration (AMD), and optic nerve damage. If you're a smoker, consider quitting or seeking assistance to kick the habit. Quitting will significantly reduce the chances of vision-related problems and improve your overall wellbeing.
Incorporating healthy eye care habits into your daily routine is essential for preserving optimal vision and preventing potential eye problems. These few simple habits may help you to safeguard your eyes and enjoy clear vision for many more years to come. Prioritise your eyes and start making healthier choices today!
Abernethy Owens is an independent optometry practice proudly servicing Perth for over 90 years. With five practices spread across the metro area, there’s sure to be one near you.