Published on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:48
Written by Luca Leonardi
Have a look at our tips for good eye health and protect your precious eye sight.
- Stop smoking – it increases your risk of cataracts, glaucoma, dry eyes, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Move your computer screen to just below eye level to prevent neck and eye strain. Your eyes will close slightly when you’re staring at the computer, minimizing fluid evaporation and the risk of dry eye syndrome.
- Look away from your computer screen every 30 minutes to rest your eyes. Don’t forget to refocus your eyes at intervals to increase your blink rate and protect against dry eye.
- Work in good light. Check that the lighting is correct for your task, this prevents eye strain.
- Aim your car vents at your feet, not your eyes or wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from dry, air-conditioned air that will make symptoms of dry eye worse.
- Eat more fruits such as blueberries that are powerful antioxidants and provide protection against AMD according to the AREDS study.
- Eat more spinach, broccoli and other foods rich in lutein, a pigment that provides the yellow colouring in the macular which protects against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Ideally, get your lutein in combination with some form of fat (olive oil works great) for the best absorption.
- Cook with red onions, not yellow as red onions contain far more quercetin, an antioxidant that is thought to protect against cataracts.
- Take a multivitamin each day. A major study AREDS suggests that with daily supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, more than 300,000 people could avoid AMD-associated vision loss over the next five years.
- Take a walk four times a week, regular exercise can reduce the intraocular pressure, or IOP, in people with glaucoma.
- Eat fish twice a week. A study from Harvard researchers presented at the 2003 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology’s annual meeting evaluated the diets of 32,470 women and found those who ate the least amount of fish (thus getting the least amount of omega-3 fatty acids) had the highest risk of dry eye syndrome. Or try fish-oil supplements to get your omega-3s.
- Consider using a humidifier on your radiator or increasing plants in your house to increase humidity and protect against dry eye.
- Wear sunglasses in bright conditions to protect against glare, UV radiation and the drying effects of the wind.
- Check your blood pressure regularly - The two leading causes of blindness in the United States are high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which damage blood vessels.
- Replace your mascara every three months and other eye makeup once a year. Eye makeup is a great repository for bacteria, which can easily be transferred to your eyes and cause infections.
- Use eye makeup remover every night before going to bed. This prevents small pieces of mascara from winding up in your eye and possibly scratching your cornea.
- Use a fresh towel every time you wipe your face and a separate cotton pad for each eye when removing eye make-up. Sharing face towels is a great way to get conjunctivitis.
- Have a regular eye test. An eye test is not just good for checking whether your glasses are up to date. It’s also a vital check on the health of your eyes. An eye test can pick up eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as general health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Care for your contact lens properly. Regular cleaning can prevent infections.
- Get enough sleep. Your eye sight often seems worse when you are tired and this can be dangerous when driving