Good eyesight is something we all take for granted, until it is threatened. Only then do we consider how vital our eyesight is to our mobility, entertainment, practical tasks and quality of life. Our eyesight does gradually deteriorate as we get older, but here are a few tips to make sure you give them the best care possible. Your eyes will thank you for it!
Tired, strained eyes, like the rest of our bodies may benefit from a little TLC. If your eyes feel tired and strained at the end of the day, then try to rest them. If you read or look at the computer screen for long periods of time, then give yourself a break visually. The 20/20/20 rule recommends after 20 minutes, look away 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will relax your focusing muscles just enough to allow you to continue your task. Your body appreciates and responds to a massage, and so will your tired eyes. Close your eyes, cover them with a warm soft towel and give them a gentle massage at the end of day.
Some vitamins may help support healthy eyes such as Vitamin A, lutein and antioxidants. There are also special vitamin formulas for eyes, but you should consult your doctor before starting a course of vitamins or natural supplements.
You should have a thorough eye examination by a professional eye doctor at least once year or two. If you suspect your eyesight may be changing, go sooner - you do not have to wait. Symptoms such as loss of vision, blurred images, flashes of light, floating spots, eye pain, redness, itching, swelling and irritation around the eye should all be checked out by an eye doctor. You may have an easily treatable eye infection, or you may have the first signs of something more serious such as cataracts or glaucoma. Catching any problem, whether trivial or serious, is always best early on. Waiting could cost you your vision, permanently.
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
Constant exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes irreversibly, and it is easily avoided. Treat yourself to at least one good pair of sunglasses and wear them whenever you go out in the sun. Keep a second pair in the car, for when you forget! Too much exposure to the sun can cause pigmentation in the eye known as brown or sunshine cataracts. Some more serious eye diseases such as macular degeneration have also been linked to UV exposure.
Protect Your Eyes from Injury
Wearing safety goggles when doing DIY or working with hazardous materials is a simple preventative measure to avoid damaging your eyesight should anything go wrong. Wear protective goggles while playing sport to avoid the unnecessary risk of an eye injury which may result in impaired vision or complete loss of sight.
Replace Your Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses you should be aware that all types of contact lenses carry a renew-by date, and many contact lens wearers ignore the recommended guidelines. Daily disposable lenses are what they say they are - should be disposed of daily. Silicone hydrogel lenses should be replaced every two weeks. Overall, 40% of wearers keep their lenses beyond the maker's recommended guidelines either because they forget to mark the replacement date on their calendar, or simply to save money, and they greatly increase their chance of infections, ulcers and losing their vision.