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Maintaining Good Eye Health is Easier Than You Think

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In the fast-paced world we all live in, too often it feels like we don’t have enough time to take care of our health the way we would like to. But making time to take care of some very important parts of your body isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think.

And while it’s easy to forget about your eye health, especially if you aren’t experiencing any difficulties or pain regarding your sight, you can’t afford to take your eyesight for granted. Here are some quick suggestions for giving your eyes some of the attention they deserve to stay healthy.

Don’t take your eye health for granted. Protect your eyesight with these five tips:

  1. Quit Smoking: While this might seem obvious as far as overall health goes, smoking increases your chances of macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and the likelihood of getting cataracts.
  2. Throw on Some Sunglasses: Yes, they can make you look fashionable, but don’t underestimate the value of a pair of sunglasses with UV protection. UV exposure increases your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. When choosing sunglasses opt for the ones that block both UVA and UVB rays and steer clear of anything with less than a 99% effectiveness. Wraparound sunglasses offer even more protection.
  3. Protect Those Eyes: Again, it might seem obvious, but too many people underestimate the importance of protecting their eyes when doing certain tasks at home, work or on the playing field. Too often safety glasses or goggles are overlooked during home repairs, especially when the project is increasing the amount of airborne material in a room. The same thing applies to many contact sports like hockey or basketball. A good pair of sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses can prevent a number of sports-related eye injuries.
  4. Step Away from the Computer! (At least for a couple of minutes…): Just like any other muscle in your body, your eyes need a rest too, especially after prolonged use. Staring at a computer screen for extended periods can cause all sorts of discomfort including eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes, and blurry vision.

    Every 20 to 30 minutes, give your eyes a short break by looking at something at a distance for approximately 30 seconds. Every two hours try and step away from the computer and the concentrated eye focus for 10 to 15 min. A good thing to consider is making sure your computer screen is free of any glare to reduce any unnecessary squinting. And keep your eyes lubricated through blinking or drops.

  5. Watch Your Diet!: One of the easiest ways to keep your eyes healthy is by watching what you put into your body. Recent studies indicate vitamins E and C may contribute to slowing age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (readily found in tuna, salmon and other oily fishes like sardines), zinc and lutein also help slow those problems.

    Try to increase your intake of leafy, green vegetables like spinach or kale and non-meat proteins like hummus, beans, nuts or eggs.

    The benefits of a good diet pay off in countless ways. While helping with overall health and a healthy weight, a good, well-balanced diet drastically decreases the chances of obesity-related diseases like diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults in the U.S.

Written by Dr. Shah


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