The following, “Take Care of Your Eyes: Don’t Take Those Baby Blues For Granted” is an incredibly valuable guest post written by Aaron Barriga, the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. Read more about him below!
A few words from Jessa: I love, love, love this article for multiple reasons. Not only does it provide a plethora of usable knowledge, but it speaks of prevention. Prevention is the best medicine, but unfortunately for many, a lifetime passes without taking advantage of it.
Taking care of our bodies and organs is absolutely vital. Paying attention to the parts of our body that DO work is a foreign concept to many. Sadly, our energy usually goes towards the parts that are malfunctioning. Remember to nourish and love your body while it functions as it should; be full of gratitude for your health while you have it.
We ALL take our vision for granted EVERY DAY. But a little TLC today will give you an incredible gift tomorrow: the ability to read, watch movies, see your family, friends and nature well into your senior years.
Take Care of Your Eyes: Don’t Take Those Baby Blues For Granted
It is very easy to take good eyesight or a perfect vision for granted. When there is nothing wrong with your eyesight, you easily forget how important it is to take care of your eyes to maintain that perfect vision. Our current lifestyles are exposing the eyes to the blue screens of computers and mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops for prolonged hours. This puts a strain on the eyes and affects the vision.
While it is not possible to prevent all eye diseases, you can take certain steps to help your eyes stay healthy and reduce the chances of vision loss in the future. Let us look at 10 tips that will help you do so.
Exercise Your Eyes
By exercising your eyes regularly, you can maintain the health of the eyes and have optimal vision. Try to exercise your eyes before you sleep or when they are feeling tired. These simple exercises can be done anywhere. Make sure that your hands are clean before you exercise so that you don’t irritate your eyes.
Exercise 1: Roll your eyes in a circular motion — ten times in a clockwise direction and ten times counterclockwise.
Exercise 2: Place a pen or your thumb six inches from your nose and stare at it for five seconds, moving your attention to the object behind the thumb for five seconds. Do this exercise ten times for about two minutes. This exercise can be done while sitting at your desk too.
Exercise 3: Rub your palms together till they get warm and place them on your eyes for five to ten seconds. Repeat three times to keep your eyes warm. This greatly helps in avoiding eye strain.
Exercise 4: Massage your forehead, temples and the area just below your eyes using your thumb knuckles in a small circular motion. Do this about twenty times in each area.
One of the simplest eye relaxation exercises you can perform is to just shut your eyes for a while and imagine your favorite place. This immediately relaxes your eyes and mind, and gives them a much needed break.
Nutrition is the Key
Nutrition plays a very big role in maintaining the health of the eyes. You must consume food that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3.
Vitamin deficiency is known to cause retinal function. Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin A, E and C along with minerals and zinc. You can include oranges, strawberries, almonds, eggs, mackerel, cod liver oil and salmon for vitamins. For minerals, you can add crab, oysters or turkey to your diet.
Include pumpkins, dark leafy vegetables, carrots and sweet potatoes in your meals. They contain antioxidants like zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and lutein, which help in protecting your eyes from getting sun damage. Don’t hold back on the greens — add generous amounts of kale, zucchini, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and spinach to your diet.
You can get cysteine, sulfur and lecithin through onions, garlic and capers. They help in protecting the lens of your eyes from cataracts. Grapes, blueberries and goji have anti-inflammatory properties such as anthocyanin, that help in improving your vision.
If you consume about 1,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids every day, you will reduce the possibility of macular degeneration and dry eyes significantly. You find omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Give Your Eyes Proper Rest
If you sit in front of the computer for long hours, your eyes will get really strained. Blink a lot and rest your eyes every few minutes. You can try the 20-20-20 rule — after every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you and hold your gaze for 20 seconds. This helps in reducing eyestrain. If your eyes feel tired, dry or the vision feels blurry, then increase your water intake as staying hydrated relaxes the eyes.
These tips will help you maintain good eye health, however, if you face prolonged eye related problems like blurred vision or redness, do not try to fix it on your own or rely on natural remedies. You must visit an eye doctor immediately so that you don’t put your eyes at any further risk for a long time.
Control the Quality of Air in your Surroundings
The air around you also has a massive impact on your eyes. If you use heating systems at your home and office during winters, remember that they will create dry air which will irritate your eyes. You can use a portable humidifier to keep the air moist to prevent the eye irritation that is caused by the dry air.
If you have a pet at home, make sure you keep your beds, couches and chair clean from their hair. Apart from the shedding dander, pets may also bring in other irritants from outside that can cause inflammation in the eyes.
Use Protection for Your Eyes
Do you step out in the sun without applying sunscreen on your skin? Pretty sure your answer is a ‘no’. Treat your eyes with the same care. Never step out in the sun without your sunglasses. Exposure to UV light contributes to the early onset of cataracts and macular degeneration. By the time you turn 18, you would have already received about 80% of UV light that you will be exposed to in a lifetime. This makes it essential for teenagers and kids to put on sunglasses every time before they step out in the sun. Make sure that sunglasses have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Sunglasses also prevent retinal damage and protect the eyelid skin from wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye.
Wear protective glasses if you work in hazardous conditions. If you are exposed to dust, splinters or other airborne particles at work, you would be at a risk of corneal abrasions which can harm your vision. Safeguard your eyes if you indulge in contact sports such as ice hockey, lacrosse and racquetball. Wear helmets that have protective face masks or use sports goggles made of polycarbonate lenses to shield your eyes. Don’t forget to use them while swimming to protect your eyes from chlorine.
Use protective eye gear even when you are doing DIY jobs such as sawing, sanding or even gardening at home because twigs, thorns, fertilizers, chemical sprays can be hazardous to the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 90% of eye injuries could be avoided by wearing protective eyewear!
If you fly frequently, you will experience dry eyes and irritation — especially if you wear contact lenses. This is because the air quality in the planes tend to be drier and it irritates the eye more. Use lubricating drops before boarding the plane and keep them handy during the journey to prevent eye irritation and dryness. Carry an extra pair of lenses and glasses, in case you need a backup.
If you are vacationing, make sure you don’t wear lenses while swimming in a pool or hot tub as they are full of irritating chemicals and bacteria that can cause infections. Rest your eyes if you have to drive a long way. Share the drive time with others to avoid straining your eyes.
Quit the Butt
Smoking is not only harmful to lungs and your overall health in general, but it also has adverse effects on the eyes. Smoking speeds up age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, and optic nerve damage — all of which can lead to blindness. Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. So, if you are a heavy smoker, it’s time you kick the habit. Your eyes will thank you for that.
Keep an Eye on Your Make-up
Bacteria and germs have a habit of finding a home in your cosmetics, such as mascara, kohl, eye shadow, etc. This leads to an eye infection, which may get quite serious in certain cases. You must discard your eye make up every three months. If you have a tough time getting rid of your expensive and unfinished cosmetics every three months, you can try a simple sniff test. Just smell them before use. If they smell unpleasant, it’s time to ditch them. For example — mascara smells as bad as fish when it’s not fresh.
Make Regular Eye Exams a Habit
Regular eye checkups are important. It helps in detecting eye diseases at an early stage. Some eye diseases affect in a way where you can see 20/20, until one day you lose your vision entirely. Children should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months and adults over 40 should go for yearly eye exams. This will help in preventing age-related ocular conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Know Your Family History
Some eye diseases are genetic. This is why you must know your family history of eye disease to determine if you are at a higher risk of developing any eye disease or not. If you are at risk, you can take preventive measures before it gets too late. Age-related eye diseases are expected to dramatically increase — from 28 million today to 43 million by the year 2020.
Hoping that these tips will help you in maintaining your eye health!
Author Bio: Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.
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