Eating better, taking vitamins, exercising, quitting smoking… these preventative measures are great to maintain your health. But to keep your eyes healthy, what are the best things to do?
Your eyes: a precious asset
Your eyes are highly valuable to accomplish all of your everyday tasks. They allow you to marvel at autumnal landscapes, to catch your best friend’s knowing smile and to perceive a loved one’s feelings before he or she has even said a word. It goes without saying that losing your eyesight would significantly change your quality of life. So to prevent or slow down the development of ocular diseases as much as possible, here are a few tips and tricks you can follow.
1 - See your eye-care specialist
It is recommended to visit your optometrist regularly in order to detect an eye disorder or disease as early as possible. This is a good way to avoid negative consequences, especially in young children and people over 40.
Eye disorders include presbyopia, myopia, astigmatism and strabismus. Some of these conditions can be corrected in young children if they are caught early.
There are many diseases that can affect your eyes. Most of them can be treated before they affect your vision, which is why it is important to detect them rapidly.
You should see an optometrist or doctor without delay if:
- you feel pain in an eye;
- you become sensitive to light;
- your vision is disrupted;
- you are experiencing any other unusual symptom.
2 - Watch out for the sun
The sun’s rays can cause certain eye diseases or contribute to their development, such as, for example, cataracts. In addition, just like your skin, your eyes can get “sunburned”, causing irritation, redness, tearing, discomfort or pain, or a “sandy” sensation in the eye.
You can adopt everyday measures to protect your eyes from getting damaged by the sun, on both the short and long term. Here are some examples:
- Wear quality sunglasses as often as necessary. Seek the advice of your optician or optometrist to pick the right ones.
- Wear a cap or wide-brimmed hat.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible.
3 - Wear safety glasses
Sometimes, a simple stroke of bad luck is enough to be the victim of an accident causing eye injury. It only takes a few seconds to lose your eyesight: a tree branch, a splash of toxic product, a piece of insulation material, etc. So whether it’s for exercising, woodworking or going about your professional activities, wear safety glasses to prevent accidents. Once again, it is important to be well informed to choose the right type of glasses for your situation.
4 - Eat right
Fill up your plate with fruits and vegetables of every colour. They will provide you with the vitamins (A, C, E and beta-carotene) your eyes need to stay healthy. Zinc, lutein and omega-3s are good examples of nutrients that are also beneficial to your vision; eating more nuts, dairy and eggs can contribute to your eyes’ health. Also, don’t forget that excess glucose (in case of ill-managed diabetes, for example) and cholesterol in the blood are harmful to your eyes as well.
5 - Exercise
If you are healthy, your eyes will be, too. By exercising, you will reduce your risk of suffering from certain diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, and you will maintain a healthy weight. This measure will indirectly promote healthy eyes.
6 - Stop smoking
As you know, smoking causes significant damage throughout your entire body, and your eyes are no exception. It is said that smokers are seven times more likely to suffer from an eye disease than non-smokers. In addition, smoking makes your eyes dry. So by quitting cigarettes, you will significantly contribute to their health. If you want to stop smoking for good, your pharmacist can help.
7 - Rest your eyes
In order to prevent your eyes from working too hard, make sure that your work area is well lit. Takes breaks by looking into the distance every 30 minutes when you are reading, writing or working in front of a screen; your eyes will be less tired. Never stare at a very bright light or at the sun to avoid damaging your retina.
8 - Keep your eyes well hydrated
To work properly, your eyes must retain moisture. Several factors can contribute to making them drier: smoke, pollution, excessive heating, taking certain medications, some illnesses, etc. Get into the habit of blinking more often, and if you have dry eyes, use lubricating drops. Your pharmacist can help you choose the right product and the best way to use it.
Your eyes work for you all day; they deserve to be pampered. Treat them as you would a precious work of art… they are just as valuable, if not more!
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