The eye is a very delicate and fragile part of the body. According to one study on distance vision, about 188.5 million individuals are said to suffer from mild vision impairment, 217 million individuals suffer from moderate and severe impairment while 36 million individuals are blind. For near vision impairment, there are about 826 million individuals suffering. In all, there are about 1.3 billion people living with one of these impairments.
While a lot of people are aware that the eyes are an integral part of the body system, most of them do not pay very close attention to taking care of their eyes and are, in essence, taking them for granted. As the saying goes, “You don't know what you have until it's gone," so here is some information on how to best to take care of your eyesight. Below are ways to keep your eyes safe:
1. Eat Healthy
Eating a healthy diet is a very integral part of keeping the eyes healthy. Nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamins A, E, C and zinc may help to reduce the severity of eye-related problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. These nutrients can be found in leafy green vegetables like collards, kale, spinach, yellow/orange vegetables, fish like tuna, salmon, and halibut, as well as in beans, nuts, eggs, and oranges.
It is equally important to eat a well-balanced diet. Obesity can cause diabetes and other medical conditions, leading to blindness or glaucoma. You can visit your primary care physcian to get help with drafting a healthy eating plan.
2. Know your Family's Ocular and Medical History
Eye issues are usually hereditary which is why it is important to collect a family history on any diseases that may affect eye health and then report them to Dr. Kubota. This will help to determine your chances of any future eye conditions as well as come up with an action plan for future eye exams.
3. Avoid Smoking
Smoking, in general, is harmful to your overall health. In regards to your eyes, it can increase your chance of developing macular degeneration which can lead to vision loss. Quitting smoking if you already smoke, or better yet, not even starting, will be extremely beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses are more than just fashion accessories; they are vital in protecting the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. UV rays can cause macular degeneration and even worsen cataracts which is why it is important to wear sunglasses that protect against 99% -100% of UV rays.
5. Obey workplace safety precautions
It is important that we wear protective eye gear when engaging in sporting activities or jobs that could be harmful to the eyes. Such eyewear includes safety goggles, glasses, and helmets. Most protective eyewear are made with polycarbonate lenses, which is a much stronger material than plastic.
6. Rest your eyes
Just like our bodies, the eyes also need rest to perform optimally. Depriving yourself of adequate sleep and rest can have an adverse effect on the eyes. During the use of the computer, remember to rest your eyes for at least 2-5 minutes every 30 minutes by looking away at something 20 ft away. Also make sure that you are wearing the appropriate prescription blue-light blocking glasses specifically designed for close work. Doing this will reduce eye strain.
7. Visit your eye doctor ANNUALLY
Getting regular eye exams is one of the most important things you can do for your eye health. Conditions like glaucoma are much easier to treat if they are discovered early so make sure to schedule your Comprehensive Eye Examination every year.
8. First Aid
Eye injuries can happen at any time and it is good to know how to handle such emergencies until you can reach a medical professional.
If you get hit in the eyes, shield your eyes and avoid putting pressure on the eyes until you can get to a medical professional
If a foreign object enters your eye, FLUSH YOUR EYE WITH A LOT OF WATER OR SALINE, BUT DO NOT RUB and avoid removing it as it may lead to the tearing of important tissue in the eye. Shield your eye and seek medical attention AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ON THE SAME DAY.
In the case of a black eye, putting an ice pack on the eye will help to reduce bruising and swelling
If it’s a chemical burn, FLUSH THE EYES WITH CLEAN WATER CONSTANTLY FOR 20-30 minutes, holding your head beneath the hose or faucet. While rinsing, keep your eyes wide open, rolling your eyeballs in all directions so as to ensure the water gets to every part. As soon as the 20-30 minutes of flushing is complete, seek medical attention AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ON THE SAME DAY.
So give some of these tips a try and remember to schedule regular eye exams. Prevention is always a better alternative to trying to find a cure.