Eye health and taking care of your eyes is just as important for your overall health as keeping any other part of your body protected and up-to-par. But, it can be tough to know how exactly to go about keeping your eyes healthy! Funny enough, there are tons of misconeptions and myths about vision that persist, but happen to be simply untrue. On the other hand, there’s plenty of easy and simple ways to ensure your eyes are being taken care of, that many people don’t know about.
Here, let’s talk about how to ensure your vision health is at it’s best.
The first thing to remember is that getting your eyes checked each and every year is ideal. With the onset of new technologies and the prevalence of screens evermore in our lives, with computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets and more, the effects of the digital light on our eyes is something that doctors advise we follow on top of the regular degradation of vision that naturally occurs. So, making sure your eyes are healthy and that you have the right prescription to help your vision be clear is important.
So, like any annual physical you go to see your doctor for, going to get an eye check up annually is also important to ensure our eyes are working as they should.
Here’s some simple tips on how to keep your eyes protected and healthy.
…and, leafy greens! These vegetables, along with other food good for eye health, are very rich in something called carotenoids, which is a nutrient that is absolutely essential to good vision and eyesight.
It is important to remember that leafy greens, carrots and other vegetables with cartenoids are not miracle workers—they will not make your vision return after it was lost, or suddenly help you see better and make you have perfect vision! However, by ingesting carotenoids, you can help prevent eye disease and vision degredation by providing your eyes with the nutrients that specifically keep them healthy.
This works because cartenoids contribute to the healthy function of your cornea, which is the clear membrane that shields your eyes from bacteria, grit, and other external intruders like dust and dirt. So, having a healthy cornea not only keeps your eyes safe, but studies have also shown that a diet that is rich in cartenoids will ultimately prevent macular degeneration as you get older—which basically means that your eyesight will get worse.
Avoid Smoking and Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is known to be bad for your health, whether it causes lung disease, lung cancer, heart disease, or other body ailments. But, did you know smoking is not good for your vision either?
Studies have shown that smoking can cause cataracts, which are age-related macular degenerations of your eyes, and optic nerve damage. This means that smoking can cause your eyes and vision to deteriorate.
Protect your eyes from direct sunlight
People like to wear sunglasses for style, but did you know that they actually help protect your eyes from sun damage? Many people don’t know that skin damage from the sun is not the only implication of too much sun exposure. Your eyes can get sunburn too, and sun damage to your eyes can do a lot more harm than simply making them red for a day or two.
Regardless of the season, or whether it’s cloudy or sunny out, UV rays from the sun are always beaming down on us from the sky. What’s more, UV rays—even on rainy and cloudy days—can cause serious and permanent eye damage. In fact, the National Eye Institue has reported that macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, is predominantly caused by UV ray damage. What’s more, 20 percent of cataracts in people in America are caused by extended sun and UV ray exposure.
So, how do you protect your eyes when you are outside? Sunglasses! But, you have to be careful and make sure that your sunglasses are either polarized or specifically say they are UVA and UVB ray safe. These types of sunglasses, unlike others that are not polarized or UVA and UVB ray safe, do not protect your eyes, in fact, they can make the sunlight affect your eyes even worse.
Take Your Contact Lenses Out Before Bed
Oftentimes, people who are tired may forget to, or forgo taking their contact lenses out before going to sleep. Unfortunately, they do not realize that they are seriously damaging their eyes by keeping them in overnight!
Although the FDA has given approval for some brands of contact lenses to be left in overnight while you sleep, the U.S. Center For Disease Control, also known as the CDC, has reported that by sleeping in any kind of contact lens, even those that have been approved, you are elevating your risk of forming an eye infection by six to eight times. So, it’s better to take them out!
Adjust the Light On Your Electronic Devices
Did you know that digital screens like computers, tablets, smartphones, and more emit a light that is not good for your eyes? This light is called blue light.
Light-emitting diodes, which are known commonly as LEDs, are the lights that you see in your TV, your smartphone, your computer, and more. Blue light is the light that these electronics emit, which are in the 400-490 nanometer range. Not everything is known about this, but studies do show that light in this nanometer range will affect your sleep cycle, and not in a good way.
Many researchers now believe that exposure to blue light damages the receptors in your eyes. So basdically, working all day at your computer, watching TV, and looking at your phone is always damaging to your eyes.
Luckily, there are glasses out there now that have blue light filter lenses, so you can safely look at screens! Be sure to get a pair, and wear them especially at night so that your sleep cycle will be safe and unaffected.