Friday, April 12, 2024

How To Look After Your Eyes And Vision.

March 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Most of us go about our daily lives without really stopping to think about how our everyday actions are impacting certain parts of our bodies, and one such often neglected area is our eyes. Our eyes give us the gift of sight, a gift that we often take for granted until such a time as we are forced to consider living without it. The number one thing you can do for your eyes is to make a regular appointment with your optometrist for a checkup, but that’s not to say there aren’t other things you can be doing at home, so here is a quick guide to maintaining good ocular health. 

You are what you eat

There’s no escaping from the fact that the food we eat is intrinsically linked to our overall health, including that of our eyes. At a very basic level, eating a well-balanced diet, filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables can help us to maintain a healthy weight, which has knock-on effects such as reducing our chances of having a stroke, which could cause us to develop blind spots or to lose our vision. Some foods, such as dark leafy greens, have been found to be particularly beneficial for maintaining good eye health, so stock up on foods such as spinach, kale, and cabbage. When it comes to safeguarding your vision in later life, then it’s important to fill your diet with a variety of antioxidant-rich foods that will help to protect your eyes against sun-damage and air pollution. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit, carrots and Brussel sprouts all contain a large number of antioxidants in the form of Vitamin C. If you struggle to get enough vitamin C in your diet through dietary sources then you may also want to consider using a dietary supplement to meet your recommended daily target. 

Consider screen damage

We now spend more time looking at screens than ever before and this can put our eyes under strain that they’re simply not used to. Here are some things you can do to help reduce the strain on your eyes when looking at a screen:

  1. 20-20-20
    The 20-20-20 rule is simply to look at something 20 feet away from you, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is designed to let your eyes focus on something further away rather than spending too much time focusing on something very close up. 
  2. Position your screen properly
    The position of your screen can have a big impact on the pressure it puts on your posture and eyes. Try to have your screen tilted away from you slightly and keep it about 20-30 inches away from your eyes. If you’re working near a window then shut the blinds to reduce glare and try to have your screen at eye height so that you aren’t having to bend your neck to look at it. 
  3. Use blue light glasses
    Screens emit a lot of blue light, which can lead to digital eye strain. One way to reduce the amount of blue light that enters your eyes is to use blue light glasses, which are fitted with a protective film. Blue light glasses can often be ordered through your optometrist or click here to find out how to order glasses online.

Be mindful of hygiene

When it comes to eye-hygiene, there’s a lot more to think about that simply not touching your eyes and the most forgotten thing is makeup. Many of us wear makeup regularly but fail to consider the effect it can have on our eyes, especially when used close to the lash line allowing the product to enter the eye area. To keep your eye area hygienic when wearing makeup, always do the following:

  • Don’t share makeup brushes – this can lead to cross-contamination 
  • Check the expiry date of your makeup – gone off makeup can cause irritation or be home to more bacteria 
  • Wash your makeup brushes – dirty makeup brushes don’t just hold onto the old product, but they can hold onto germs too
  • Remove your makeup before you go to bed – Sleeping with makeup on increases the chances of it becoming smudged and entering the delicate eye area. 

Wear the correct protection

Our eyes are very sensitive and once damaged they may never recover. Don’t let negligence be the cause of your loss of vision and always wear the correct eye protection. If you are going out into the sun then consider wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. If you work on a building site or with chemicals, then always wear eye protection to stop foreign bodies or substances from damaging your eyes, and if you spend a long time working at a screen, then consider eye protection that filters blue light. 

We only get one set of eyes during our lifetime and so it is our responsibility to look after them. What do you do to look after your eye health? 

Staff Writer; Sherry Parker

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