In conjunction with World Sight Day, here are several ways you can look after your eye health:
Have regular eye tests
It is recommended to have your eyes tested at least once a year, however you may be surprised that only 22.4% have regular check-ups. Without these tests minor conditions may go unnoticed and could develop into something more serious. This is especially true of adults over 40 as there is a greater risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. All of these conditions could require laser eye surgery and there are costs attributed to this.
Watch your caffeine intake
Caffeinated drinks help to prevent dry eyes and keeps your eyes moist. However, more than two servings a day can deplete your tear film, dry out your eyes and contribute to irritation.
Take a break from the computer screen
If you work in front of a computer screen it is vital to remember the 20-20-20 rule. This means that every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help to break the eyes’ constant strain of focusing on a screen. Also whilst you concentrate, whether that’s reading a book or working on the computer, you actually blink half as much as when you’re not concentrating. Blinking is vital to keeping your eyes moist, as when you blink fresh tears are brought to the surface of the eyes. Therefore the longer you concentrate the drier your eyes become.
Eat more fish and green vegetables
Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E actually help to ward of vision problems. The food you eat can help enormously to the overall health of our eyes. Green leafy foods, such as spinach or kale are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, which protects against macular degeneration. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is also known for reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies and trout are rich in docosahexaenoic acid. This is an omega-3 fatty acid, which helps to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the eye. Also maintaining a healthy weight makes you less likely to develop obesity related conditions. For example type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of blindness.
Include saline solution in your first aid kit
If you accidentally get soap, shampoo or make-up remover in your eyes, you should rinse your eye thoroughly with saline solution for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This may seem like a long time, however rinsing your eyes thoroughly is the best way to avoid developing any conditions. If there is still irritation after this then you should visit optometrist.