By Ye Jin Chung
When we’re born, we are only given only one set of eyes. They help capture light and send images to the brain, which guides our courses of action. Therefore, it’s important to keep your eyes healthy in order to maintain optimal vision. In this article, I will introduce six tips on how exactly you can do this. While the most important step is to get eye exams regularly, there are a few other things you can do that you may not already be aware of.
1. Consume more Vitamin A and C.
Like all health issues, maintaining a healthy diet is vital. Vitamins A and C are rich with antioxidants that help to enhance eyesight. Some of these food products include green vegetables (spinach), fish (salmon and tuna), eggs, nuts, beans, oysters, and citrus fruits (lime and lemon). On top of that, try to decrease consumption of alcohol as it deposits fat into the arteries of your eyes.
2. Quit smoking.
Smoking is never beneficial to your body. If you’re a non-smoker, don’t even think about starting. Constant smoking eventually leads to macular degeneration, cataracts, and nerve degeneration.
3. Use protective eyewear and try to wear a hat in sunny weather.
Spring is here, which means that the sun will appear more regularly. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses! Aside from just sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and caps help to minimize the amount of UV rays that enter your eyes too. These items will prevent the blazing sunlight from damaging your eyesight. Constant exposure to UV rays leads to cataracts and, possibly, a gradual loss of vision.
4. Refrain from excessive use of electronic devices.
Digital screens radiate high-energy blue light. If one is constantly exposed to them, it can lead to macular degeneration or even vision loss. One problem: digital devices are impossible to completely detach from our lives. That said, I strongly suggest you minimize the usage of electronics in places where they aren’t necessary, such as reading a book while waiting for transit and using papers to jot down a quick memo rather than your phone. In addition to that, make sure you’re not staring at your laptop screen all day working on a term essay, even though it’s due two days from now. It’s important to let your eyes rest every 20 minutes. Remember the 20-20 rule: after every 20 minutes of staring at the screen, look away for about 20 seconds, then resume your work. Staring at the screen too much is terrible not only for your eye, but also for your neck, shoulders, and spine. In my opinion, this tip is the easiest to implement.
5. Know your family’s eye history.
Some eye diseases, such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, tend to be genetic. Consult with your family members to see if eye problems are your family’s genetic problem. Most of these diseases can be treated before symptoms get worse, and it is never too soon to prevent them.
6. Visit an optometrist and ophthalmologist regularly.
While advice from your friends and family are important, advice from an eye specialist is even better. Visit an optometrist or an ophthalmologist and take regular eye exams. The difference between the two? Simply put, optometrists correct vision problems with glasses or contact lenses, and ophthalmologists tend to prescribe medications and undergo eye surgeries. These eye professionals are able to provide tips and advice that are specific to you. Visit them at least once every two years.
Most people take their current eye conditions for granted, but the truth is that most eye diseases are preventable before entering the first stages of vision loss. Unfortunately, there aren’t any tips that miraculously enhance your eyesight in a short period of time, but these tips can help gradually if you take action on a daily basis.