How to keep our eyes healthy?

How to keep our eyes healthy?

Most of us don’t even know how to keep our eyes healthy, what food and habits are recommended and if it is necessary to take vitamins or supplements. Taking care of our body and leading a healthy life is important for many of us, but we usually take our eyes’ health for granted.

Visit your ophthalmologist regularly

One of the main recommendations to maintain our eyes healthy is to go to the ophthalmologist periodically to undergo an ophthalmological exam. This will allow the doctor to help you prevent the development of various eyes diseases or diagnosing them as soon as possible to prevent them from progressing and causing sequelae. You may also need to visit the optometrist periodically if you have a refractive defect such as myopia or astigmatism.

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Maintain a healthy diet

Following a healthy diet is necessary to maintain our overall health but eating healthy also helps to obtain the nutrients needed to keep our eyes healthy. For example, eating fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, provides a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important to maintain the health of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the central vision.

Likewise, eating fish, oysters, pork, eggs, green vegetables, nuts, beans and citrus fruits provide enough antioxidants, lutein, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, zeaxanthin, thiamine and vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, C and E, which might help to prevent age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

On the other hand, eating a high-fat diet can increase the free-radicals formation and favor macula damage. It can also increase the deposit of atheroma plaques in the arteries, which reduces the amount of blood that reaches the different structures of the eye. In this sense, it is also recommendable to exercise regularly to improve the blood circulation and improve the oxygen and nutrients supply to the different structures of the eye and to remove toxins.

Finally, having healthy habits reduces the chances of developing diseases related to the obesity, like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

Give your eyes a break once in a while

Sleeping well at night has many benefits for your health, including the relaxation of the eye’s muscles. Likewise, taking your eyes off from the computer screen, smartphone and other electronic devices every certain number of minutes helps to reduce the amount of blue light energy that reaches your eyes, energy that can reduce the amount of Lutein & Zeaxanthin nutrients, which are necessary for a proper function of the macule.

Likewise, being exposed for a long time to blue light energy can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble focusing at a distance and headaches. To avoid those symptoms, you can try the 20-20-20- rule, which consists in looking at 20 feet to the front (approximately) for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking excessively

Drinking alcohol and smoking can create free radicals that can harm the macula decreasing the acuity of the central vision. Smoking also increases the risk of developing cataracts and vascular diseases, so the blood flow to the eyes may be affected, which causes damage to the optic nerve.

Wash your hands

Although it sounds completely obvious, many times we touch our eyes with dirty hands, which favors the entry of dirt, viruses and bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis or pinky eye. This measure is especially important if you use contact lenses. So, wash your hands with a mild soap and plenty of water and dry them with a lint-free towel before touching your eyes, and putting on or taking off your contact lens.

Wear sunglasses

It is very important to protect your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, so you must wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection when you are exposed to the sun. Wearing hats can also help to reduce the amount of UV radiation that reaches the eyes.

Wraparound lenses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays are recommended. Likewise, polarized lenses reduce glare, which is especially important while you are driving.

In conclusion, the eyes are very important organs because they allow us to obtain information about the objects around us. So, it is necessary to give our eyes’ health the same attention as to the rest of our body.

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Aurelysmar Grimandecollantes

Author: Dr.Aurelysmar Grimandecollantes

Dr.Aurelysmar is 29 years old MD and medical writer. Medical degree from the Universidad Centroccidental "Lisandro Alvarado", Venezuela, 2014. Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, Venezuela, 2015. Course: Specialized Health Training for Physicians, Spain, 2017.