The health of our eyes is just as important as the health of any other part of our body, particularly when you consider that we use our eyes for virtually every element of our lives every single day. Nevertheless, there are many different problems that can affect them, from refractive errors like near-sightedness to serious and potentially sight-threatening diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to help preserve the health of our eyes and our vision.
What you eat has a direct impact on your health and how well your body function – including your eyes. A healthy, balanced diet that is primarily whole foods rather than processed meals is recommended. There are also specific vitamins and minerals that are proven to be good for eye health, including Lutein, Zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin X, and omega 3. By choosing foods that are rich in these vitamins and minerals, you can boost your overall eye health. They can be found in leafy, green vegetables, citrus fruits, and oily fish, like salmon.
Most of us know that smoking isn’t good for our health, but not everyone realizes that it can have a direct impact on the health of our eyes our vision. Smoking increases the likelihood of developing a condition called macular degeneration, which occurs when the cells of a part of the eye called the macula start to break down. The macula is responsible for enabling us to see fine detail, so although sufferers don’t lose their sight completely, macular degeneration can make it hard to perform some ordinary daily tasks, such as reading, driving, or watching tv. By quitting smoking you can dramatically reduce your risk of developing many eye diseases as well as general health conditions.
UV radiation from the sun is responsible for sunburn and some skin cancers, but it can also cause damage to the delicate cells both inside and outside our eyes. UV damage is accumulative, meaning that the more your eyes are exposed to it without adequate protection, the more likely you are to experience the consequences of doing so. These include corneal sunburn, growths on the eye, and cataracts. Wear sunglasses that are proven to block out 99-100% of UV rays to prevent this from happening. It’s also worth being aware that UV light is still present on cloudy days, so you should try and wear your sunglasses outside as much as possible.
If you are someone who uses digital devices regularly, such as spending long days working on a computer, you may not see it, but your eyes are being exposed to lots of artificial blue light. While we need some natural blue light, emitted by the sun, to regulate our sleep-wake cycle, energize us and give our cognitive function sharp, too much can have a negative effect. Insomnia, mood swings and irritability, eye fatigue, and more are all common symptoms of blue light exposure. If you spend lots of time using digital devices, you may want to consider getting blue light blocking lenses or filters to reduce your exposure.
One of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy and your vision functioning optimally is to attend comprehensive eye exams with your eye doctor on a regular basis. These appointments are not only to check your eyesight and see whether you would benefit from prescription lenses, although that does form an integral element of the process. They are also used to check and monitor the health of your eyes, watch for signs of any developing eye diseases, and ensure that if necessary, any action is taken promptly. Experts recommend that all adults see their eye doctor at least once every 2 years, more often if they wear glasses or are otherwise advised by their professional.
For more advice on keeping your eyes healthy, contact Omaha Primary Eye Care in Elkhorn, NE at (402) 383-0780 to schedule an eye exam.