Your vision is not something that you should take for granted. It is your gateway to the world, your number one sense that allows you to not only experience things about you, but to truly visualize the beauty that this world brings to our lives. When you have a loved one that struggles with their vision, you definitely see what kind of impact this has on their lives, and the lives of their family. The fact that these people are “visually impaired” doesn’t make you love them any less, but it should make you appreciate the fact that you have your sight.
There are some easy ways that you maintain your vision, and reduce the risk of contracting some eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and dry eye disease.
1. Regular Eye Examinations
If your family has a history of eye disease, this is extremely important. Regular visits to an eye care professional is vital for early detection and early treatment of eye diseases. Diseases such as the wet form of macular degeneration can progress rapidly, causing severe vision loss in a short period of time.
2. Sunglasses and a Hat
Sunglasses should be more than just a fashion statement, they should be worn while outside. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage your eyes. Debris blowing around in the wind may carry toxins or irritants which can cause infections. Wearing a pair of sunglasses outside not only stops you from having to squint in bright light and the damaging effects of the UV rays but can provide a barrier to the wind. A hat will stop stop the UV
rays that are not stopped by sunglasses from the top and side.
3. Aim your air condition away from your eyes
The dry air from an air conditioner will remove the moisture from your eyes, leaving you with dry, irritated eyes. While this can be uncomfortable, it can also lead to cornal abrasions that if left untreated, can lead to blindness.
4. Replace your eye makeup
Mascara should be replaced every 3 months and other eye makeup at least once a year. Eye makeup is a perfect repository for harmful bacteria which can cause severe eye infections.
5. Ehhance your diet
Eating things such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, red onions, fish and spinach may help lower the risks associated with some eye diseases.
For example, blueberries are rich in antioxidants which have been shown to reduce the risk associated with age related macular degeneration. Spinach is rich in lutein which is another nutrient that has been shown to reduce the risks associated with age related macular degeneration. Red Onions contain quercetin, another anxtioxidant that protects against cataracts.
6. Reduce or eliminate your salt from your diet
High salt intake increases your risk of cataracts. Reduce the amount of salt and sodium intake to lower your risk.
7. Look up from reading every 30 minutes
This will reduce eye strain and eye fatigue as you are reading. Your eyes like any other part of your body will get tired with over use.
8. Wear goggles when you work
If you are doing carpentry or yard work, wearing goggles can prevent debris from entering your eye that could lead to corneal abbrasions. Also wear goggles when you swim, you can protect your eyes from the damage
caused by chlorine.
9. Lower the heat in your home
Heat dries out the air in your house which in turn dries out your eyes. In winter, you may want to consider a humidifier to add some moisture in the air.
10. Get regular exercise
Getting regular exercise could help reduce the risk associated with developing glaucoma. A brisk walk four times a week has been shown to reduce the the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.