15 Tips for Healthy Eyes
Some of the best tips for keeping your eyes healthy include regularly seeing an eye doctor, exercise regularly, protect your eyes from UV radiation, use saline when necessary, reduce your computer time, quit smoking, and alter your diet to include kale, oranges, spinach, fish, nuts, and oysters.
One of the most important and fragile parts of our existence rests squarely in the middle of our face – the eyes! Not only do the vast majority of people rely on their eyes as their primary sense, but the eyes themselves are far more vulnerable to damage than other sense organs. The human eye is one of the most complex evolutionary advancements of our species, but it is far less protected than the eyes of other creatures. Composed of the cornea and the sclera, connected by the limbus, these tissues are directly exposed to the elements whenever our eyes are open, and even small injuries to the eye can cause irreparable damage and permanent alteration of your vision.
Despite knowing all of that, people are careless with their eyes, assuming that an occasional check-up or a new prescription is all they need to protect this vital sense. Furthermore, the eye can easily become infected by outside pathogens, due to its exposed nature, so you must be vigilant in washing your hands and ensuring that your eyes don’t come in contact with foreign materials. Finally, to cap everything off, the eye naturally degrades over time, like most of our other organs, resulting in cataracts and macular degeneration, among other symptoms that make vision a struggle. Fortunately, by following proper behavioral guidelines and shaping your diet properly, you can protect your eyes every day! Now, let’s take a closer look at these 15 tips for healthy eyes.
15 Tips for Healthy Eyes
1. Quit Smoking – There are many ways that smoking can endanger your health, and one of the major effects is on the human eye! The increased levels of carcinogens in the bodies of smokers contributes to greater cell breakdown and increased risk of free radicals and cancerous cells. Furthermore, studies have linked smoking to a higher prevalence of macular degeneration and uveitis.
2. Change Your Contact Case – If you have glasses or contacts, ensure that you keep them clean! regularly change the solution in your contact case, wipe down your glasses, and change contacts as directed. These are places that are ideal for the development of bacteria or other foreign substances you don’t want to put into your eye! Also, keep your hands clean whenever putting in and taking our your lenses.
3. Exercise More – Although the direct correlation hasn’t been explained, studies have shown that regular exercise can prevent the development of macular degeneration. The renewal of energy and the general metabolic boost of exercise can flood the body with beneficial hormones and increase healing and repair, even in the eyes!
4. Oranges – Oranges and orange juice are quoted as being the ultimate source of vitamin C, and while you can get this vitamin in plenty of other places, oranges might be the easiest to access. Along with boosting the immune system, the ascorbic acid in oranges also functions as an antioxidant and protects vision from cataracts and macular degeneration.
5. See An Eye Doctor Regularly – The best way to ensure eye health is to speak directly to a vision specialist. You should regularly get your eyes checked to ensure that your vision is not diminishing, that your prescription is still accurate, and that your eyes are generally healthy. There are many treatments and approached to improve eye health, but you won’t know until you visit a professional!
6. Oysters – People think of oysters as aphrodisiacs, but they do far more than that! Oysters are a rich source of zinc, which our eyes require to strengthen vision, particularly at night. That mineral also slows down the development of cataracts. Red meat, poultry, and milk are other sources of this important mineral, but oysters have a particularly high concentration.
7. Take a Break from the Computer – In our modern world, we spend a lot of time in front of screens – from smartphones and tablets to computers and televisions – but we must be careful about how our eyes are being affected. Continuous screen time can cause us to blink far less frequently, but blinking is how our eyes stay moist and protected from outside irritants. Therefore, tear your eyes away from the screen and blink a bit… your eyes will thank you!
8. Kale – Green leafy vegetables are excellent ways to protect eye health. Kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that can prevent age-related macular degeneration and slow the development of cataracts.
9. Carrots – One of the nutrients commonly connected to eye health and vision improvement is beta carotene, and as the name slightly implies, a great source of this nutrient is… carrots! If you add these crunchy vegetables to your diet, you’ll be booting your antioxidant content with carotenoids. These powerful compounds neutralize free radicals and protects the eye from macular degeneration and many other vision-related issues.
10. Have Saline on Hand – Our natural reaction when something gets in our eye is to rub and wipe at the affected eye until we tear up and hopefully flush the foreign substance out. Unfortunately, this can damage the cornea and impair vision. A better solution is to have saline drops on hand, and to use them when we feel something foreign in the eye, when the eye is dry, or when we are feeling eye strain. This is a more effective and less aggressive way to treat a problem with the eye.
11. Fish – It’s a common misconception that all fatty acids are bad for the body; in fact, some types of fatty acids are considered “good cholesterol” and are needed by the body to function properly. When it comes to the eyes, fatty acids improve retinal function, reduce dryness in the eyes, and is important for initial development of vision function. Oily fish like salmon and tuna are packed with beneficial fatty acids, and you can also get these benefits from fish oil supplements.
12. Avoid UV Radiation – Excessive UV radiation can do direct damage to the mechanisms of the eyes, namely the rods and cones. By wearing sunglasses (with UV protection) when you’re outside, you will reduce the strain on your eyes, protect them from UV damage, and also lower your chances of headaches and stress.
13. Nuts – Vitamin E is an important weapon in the fight against macular degeneration and cataracts, so adding foods that are packed with this essential vitamin is wise. Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E, particularly peanut butter, wheat germ, and hazelnuts. Who says protecting your eyes can’t also be delicious?
14. Eggs – Beta carotene often gets the attention when discussing vision health, particularly in relation to chomping on carrots, but there are other important organic compounds that factor into eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin, for example, both of which are found in eggs, also play an important antioxidant role in the eyes, protecting against macular degeneration and cataract development.
15. Be Aware When Traveling – Any change from our typical environment can affect our health and comfort levels. When traveling, for instance, different humidities, allergens, sunlight levels, and activities can put your eyes at risk. Even flying in an airplane with recycled, dry air can affect your eyes. Always be sure to take your eyes into consideration when you travel – pack those eye drops, sunglasses, and any other eye accessory that you may need!