Protect your eyes with these lifestyle changes

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From your diet to your workspace set-up, as well as how effective your sunglasses are, everyday habits could weaken or affect your eyesight. The good news is that preventative measures can keep your peepers healthy and lower your risk of eye impairment.

Keep these tips in mind to protect your eyes:

Know your family history

Do you or a family member suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or any eye disorders? Get to know your family’s health history, as it allows you to take preventative measures against specific conditions. It also enables your doctor to advise you more accurately.

Go for eye exams annually

Try to have an eye examination at least once a year. An eye test can help determine your risk for eye conditions and whether you need spectacles or contact lenses. If you already wear spectacles or contact lenses, an eye test will reveal if you need a stronger prescription.

Eat your omega-3s

Research suggests that foods rich in omega-3s can help lower the risk of eye conditions like macular degeneration and dry eyes. Eat plenty of foods such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, seeds, nuts and canola oil. Talk to your doctor if you’d like to use an omega-3 oil supplement instead.

Take regular screen breaks

From your smartphone to your laptop, screens are everywhere. Too much screen time can damage your eyes and lead to conditions like eye strain and computer vision syndrome. Take a screen break every 20 minutes by looking at another object for at least 20 seconds. Blink regularly and position your computer at least an arm’s length away from you.

Be smart about sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV and UVB rays that increase the risk for eye conditions such as cataracts. Choose sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV and UVB rays, and always wear them when you’re outside or driving during the day.

Stub out your cigarette

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who smoke may have a greater risk of developing eye impairments, including cataracts, uveitis and age-related macular degeneration. If you smoke, try to cut down and eventually quit by working with your doctor or joining a programme like CANSA’s eKick Butt. If you’re a non-smoker, set boundaries with smokers and don’t allow them to smoke indoors or in your car.

Know when to see a doctor

If you notice any of these warning signs, talk to your doctor immediately:

  • double or hazy vision
  • difficulty seeing in low-light conditions
  • floaters (small dark shapes that float across your vision)
  • eye pain and swelling
  • frequent flashes of light

Mind your eyes

From cleaning products to makeup and repair tools, everyday objects can harm your eyes if you aren’t careful. Throw away any eye makeup (including mascara and liquid eyeliner) that’s more than four months old. When cleaning or doing repairs around the house, always wear protective goggles and gloves.

For more advice related to eye care, read these helpful articles:

The information is shared on condition that readers will make their own determination, including seeking advice from a professional. E&OE.


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