Vision loss is a major problem that interrupts daily life. It is also more common than you think. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 93 million adults in the U.S. are at high risk for vision loss. Although you can’t always recover from the vision loss you’ve experienced, that doesn’t mean you can’t take precautions to protect your eyes in the future.
Adding these habits to your routine will keep your eyes in good shape for years to come.
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1. Wear sunglasses
Exposing your eyes to ultraviolet radiation can cause damage over time. Wearing sunglasses can block harmful UV light, lowering the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts, sunburn, eye cancer and growths around the eye, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Polarized glasses with smoke or gray lenses may offer the best protection against the sun’s rays and reduce glare.
2. Take screen breaks
Prolonged screen time can cause dry eyes, pain in the neck and shoulders, blurred vision, headaches and digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. The American Optometric Association recommends using the 20-20-20 rule to prevent computer vision syndrome. Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Also take book breaks
Screen time isn’t the only way to strain your eyes. When you read a book, you probably hold it close for a long time. Both activities can lead to nearsightedness or nearsightedness, which means that distant objects are blurry while things up close are clear. Just as you should use the 20-20-20 rule for taking screen breaks, you should also use this rule for book breaks. If you find yourself engrossed in what you’re reading or doing on the computer, set an alarm so you don’t miss your 20-minute break.
4. Move your body
Regular exercise can provide eye health benefits, such as promoting healthy blood vessels and lowering the risk of developing glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, the AAO reports. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, plus two days of strength training for your muscles. You can also do eye exercises to reduce tension and eye strain while sitting at your desk.
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5. Go outside
Children and adults need to get outside often, even if you get the recommended exercise indoors. Research shows that children who spend time outdoors have a lower risk of developing myopia during adolescence and as adults. Playing with your kids at the local playground, walking through the woods, or even playing in the backyard can keep the whole family healthy and active. Make sure you use your sunglasses.
6. Don’t smoke
It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. According to the Food and Drug Administration, it may also increase the risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. Smokers have a two to three times higher risk of developing cataracts and a to four times higher risk of AMD. Future research may reveal whether cigarette smoking can also cause glaucoma, Graves’ eye disease, and thyroid eye disease and promote the onset or progression of diabetic retinopathy. To improve your health, create a quit plan.
7. Eat balanced meals
The foods you eat every day can improve your eye health. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc can promote cell growth, reduce eye tissue inflammation and limit free radicals that can damage your eyes.
To get the right nutrients for your eyes, eat balanced meals by incorporating some of these foods into your regular diet, as recommended by the AAO:
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene: Apricots, carrots, melon, sweet potatoes, red pepper, ricotta, mango.
- Vitamin C: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, red pepper.
- Vitamin E: Avocados, almonds, peanut butter, wheat germ, sunflower seeds.
- Omega-3: Halibut, sardines, salmon, tuna, trout.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Kale, broccoli, eggs, peas, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, turnip greens.
- Zinc: Lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lean red meat, oysters, fortified grains, poultry.
8. Avoid rubbing your eyes
Rubbing your eyes regularly can cause eye damage or infections. Dry eyes and tired eyes can make you want to rub your eyes, and some may rub them too much or too hard. This can lead to problems such as reduced or blurred vision, headaches, inflammation, eye and light sensitivity. Another reason to avoid eye rubbing is that bacteria or viruses on your fingers or hands can lead to conjunctivitis, also called pink eye. Instead of rubbing your eyes, you can use eye drops or saline solution to clean your eyes and keep them moist. Resist the urge and find something else to keep your hands busy until you kick the habit.
Read more: 7 home remedies for dry, itchy eyes
9. Wash your hands
You should always wash your hands before touching your face or eyes and contact lenses. Nearly 45 million Americans wear contact lenses and about one in three wearers experience complications, with one in five contact lens infections causing corneal damage.
Moreover, there is no telling what germs are on objects you touch after someone has unknowingly contaminated them. Washing your hands regularly can reduce the risk of respiratory illness by as much as 21% and diarrhea by as much as 40%, the CDC reports.
10. Remove your makeup
After a long day, the last thing on your mind is removing your eye makeup before going to bed. This benefits your eye health and can lower your risk of blepharitis, or eyelid inflammation, according to the Optometrists Network.
You should also adopt good makeup practices that can save your skin and eyes, such as using only products made for the eyes, changing your makeup often (especially after an eye infection), not applying eye makeup makeup on the inner eyelids and never sharing eye makeup with others. someone else. If you use brushes or sponges to apply eye makeup, wash them regularly.