We only get one pair of eyes. By looking after your eye health, you can ensure that your eyesight stays sharp long into old age. Here are just several ways in which you can look after your eyes.
Get regular eye exams
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, eye tests can be useful for making sure that you’ve got the right prescription. However, they can have other benefits too. Eye tests can be used to help spot problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and pterygiums. When spotted earlier, it becomes easier to treat these eye conditions.
Wear your prescription glasses
If you’ve been prescribed glasses, make sure that you wear them. Not wearing corrective lenses when you need them could cause unnecessary strain on your eyes – which could cause your vision to get worse.
Glasses come in all different styles and can vary in price depending on where you buy them from. Online retailers such as Eyeglasses.com often offer cheaper frames than high street opticians, as well as offering a larger range of styles to choose from. This could allow you to find the right pair of spectacles for you. And if you do decide that glasses are definitely not for you, there are always alternative options such as contact lenses and laser eye treatment.
Protect your eyes in the sun
Too much exposure to bright light can be bad for your eyes. Prolonged sun exposure can cause keratitis – which is essentially sunburn of the eye. This can cause pain and blurriness. The risk of developing other conditions such as cataracts and even eye cancer is also increased by sun exposure.
Wearing shades is the best way to protect your eyes from sun damage. If you have to squint when outdoors because it’s too bright, it’s usually a sign that you need to wear shades. Beaches, water and snow can reflect light and increase the risk of sun damage, so bear this in mind.
A decent pair of sunglasses doesn’t have to be expensive, however you should make sure when buying a cheap pair that the tint is actually effective enough to protect your eyes. Some cheap pairs do little to block out the sun and should be avoided.
Smoking can damage your eyes (along with pretty much every other part of the body). In fact, smokers have been found to have an increased risk of developing dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. This is a combination of damage caused by the smoke and damage caused by chemicals inhaled into the body, which can harm blood vessels in the eye.
Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but nowadays there are lots of methods of quitting to try. Don’t continue to turn a blind eye to the dangers of smoking.
Fix up your diet
Your diet can also affect your eye health. There are certain foods that offer just the right cocktail of nutrients that your eyes need. For fighting conditions like dry eye, omega-3 rich foods like fish and walnuts are a good choice. For getting the right fix of vitamins, citric fruits and leafy greens are your best options. Carrots meanwhile can also keep your eyesight strong due to their high levels of vitamin A (they won’t make you see in the dark, but they can positively impact your vision).
Spot the warning signs of eye conditions early
Most eye conditions can be cured if you catch the symptoms early enough. Cataracts for instance are perfectly treatable with surgery, but if ignored could lead to permanent irreversible vision loss.
Dark spots in your vision that won’t go away, unexplained blurriness and frequent streaks of light are all things to be concerned about. If you’ve got pain or itchiness in your eyes, you should also seek out an optician or a doctor. It could also be worth getting a medical diagnosis if you experience unusual redness or spot unusual growths on your eyes.
An eye exam will be able to determine if there is a problem. An optician may be able to carry this out and then recommend you to a doctor if they suspect that you may be suffering from an eye condition. Alternatively, you could go straight to a doctor, who may be able to carry out an examination for you. You can find out more about eye conditions and their symptoms here at Health.Havard.edu.