Now You Can See: How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Eyesight Strong
According to the report “Blindness and vision impairment” by the World Health Organization, 36 million of people over the world are blind, and 1.3 billion people on the planet suffer from some form of visual impairment. The fear of blindness is in the top five of most widespread phobias (occupying the fourth place) but, surprisingly, we do very little to protect our eyes and decrease the chances of losing eyesight.
Even if you don’t have any issues with your eyesight, the doctors recommend visiting an ophthalmologist at least once per year. An expert can identify serious disorders in early stages just by the state of your eyes, blood vessels, and eye ground. Cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and even disseminated sclerosis are reflected in our eyes, which allows an attentive physician to make an early diagnosis.
But, unfortunately, only a few of us can say that they have ideal eyesight and absolutely healthy eyes. Those who have to spend many hours at the desktops are complaining to have dry and burning eyes. Many of those approaching 30 years of age lose eye strength, while by 45 years of age, we start to experience symptoms of hyperopia. One of the simplest things we can do for our eyesight (which is often neglected) is to get an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a full eye checkup and never miss an annual examination ever since.
When You Must See a Doctor
The preventive examinations are essential, but there are cases when you might need to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid serious or even irreparable damage to your health. If you experience at least one of the following symptoms, you should definitely see an ophthalmologist.
Problems with Seeing or Driving at Night
The most apparent signal that you should immediately attend to your eyesight is having trouble seeing or driving at night. This can be a sign of sight impairment, for example, age hyperopia or even developing a cataract. Anyway, if you start having problems seeing objects at night, you should go to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Red or Pink Eyes
Allergy, conjunctivitis, and even glaucoma can make our eyes and eyelids red. If the redness doesn’t disappear for more than two days, it’s advisable to see an ophthalmologist as the problem may be very serious.
Sensitivity to Light
If you start getting uncomfortable or feeling pain in bright light, don’t delay your visiting a doctor as this can be a sign of inflammation. If you don’t take timely measures, it can lead to scars, which can seriously impair your eyesight. Besides, increased sensitivity to light can be a symptom of viral diseases, allergy, or bilious headache.
Dim Eyesight or Problems With Focusing On Objects
There are quite a few reasons why your eyesight may become not so sharp, but all of them are symptoms of serious problems. There are various solutions starting from eye drops and ending with surgery, but the treatment shall be prescribed by a doctor, so don’t delay with an appointment.
Infection, trauma, dry eyes, allergy, and even glaucoma are just a few reasons for eye pain. There is one important rule: if you feel even slight eye pain, you should immediately visit a doctor.
Frequent or strong headaches are a reason to visit a doctor immediately. There are various reasons for these, but they also include eye disorders. Therefore you should see not only a neurologist but also an ophthalmologist.
Spots or Flashes in Your Eyes
Disorders of eye retina integrity, retinal breaks, and other injuries can lead to dots, spots, or even flashes in your eyes. It is essential to visit a doctor as soon as possible to start therapy quickly. Getting early treatment early is critical in case of eye disorders.
Women are suffering from dry eyes more often than men, especially during menopause since decreased production of some hormones can lead to dry mucous membranes. The dry eyes can be caused by contact lenses, dry air indoors or outdoors, or even taking some medicines. Whatever the case, it is essential to see a doctor early.
What Can Be Done to Protect Eyesight?
Most of us will face some visual impairments, since, unfortunately, neither our physiology, nor science, nor medicine is able to withstand age-related changes so far. But, first of all, we are capable of delaying this moment and making the damage minimal. Here are some easy changes for your lifestyle and eating habits which can help to protect your eyes and eyesight.
Eat Spinach at Least Twice per Week
Spinach contains lots of lutein, which is a useful substance helping to prevent age-related degeneration of macula lutea. According to the research “Lutein for Preventing Macular Degeneration” by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, just half a portion of spinach twice per week significantly decreases the risk of this eye disorder and keeps eyesight sharp even in older age.
Keep Your Screen Slightly Below Your Eyes
When you work at the desktop, keep the screen slightly below your eye level. This way, your eyes will be partially closed with your eyelids, which will decrease evaporation and prevent developing dry eyes.
Get Some Exercise
Indeed, sports are good for our health, including the health of our eyesight. Regular exercise improves blood circulation. As a result, all organs of our body get more oxygen. Try to exercise at least 150 minutes per week, and you will decrease the chances of developing glaucoma by 40% according to the research “Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Incident Glaucoma”.
Skip Trans Fats
Pre-cooked sweets, chips, and especially fried food are dangerous for our health and sight. The more often we eat them, the stronger is a hidden inflammation, and the sooner we can develop macular degeneration followed by blindness.
Choose sunglasses with maximum UVA and UVB protection. The UV radiation damages eye lens protein, which increases the risks of age-related cataracts according to the research “UVA light-excited kynurenines oxidize ascorbate and modify lens proteins through the formation of advanced glycation end products: implications for human lens aging and cataract formation“. It is essential to wear glasses not only in summer and spring but also in winter as the sunlight reflected by snow can severely damage our eyes.
Check for Allergy
If your eyes itch, it can be a symptom of infection or a developing an allergy. Besides, rubbing affected eyes can lead to developing conjunctivitis and other eye infection. Thus if you suspect an allergy, go to see a doctor and stick to his recommendations.
Regular smoking can impair not only your eyesight but also the ability to differentiate colors. The research, titled “Visual impairments in tobacco use disorder” published in Psychiatry Research has shown that smokers lose the ability to differentiate colors in red-green and blue-yellow spectrums. In addition, smoking more than a pack per day leads to reducing the ability to differentiate contrast differences.
Those of us who drink at least one cup of tea per day can significantly reduce the risk of glaucoma, which is one of the most widespread causes of blindness today. The research, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, has confirmed that regular tea drinking can decrease the risk of these dangerous diseases by 74%.
Take Vitamins and Supplements
The study, titled “Age-Related Eye Disease Studies“ conducted by the National Eye Institute (USA) in the year 2006 has confirmed that regular intake of supplements which included lutein, zeaxanthin and anthocyanin (the latter is contained in large quantities in blueberries), vitamins C, A, and E, as well as zinc, can decrease the risk of retinal disorders or even prevent the development of progressing disease. Those participants of the research who were regularly taking supplements, vitamins, and microelements, have improved their eyesight for 25% during 5 years of the experiment.
Trust Your Eyes
Indeed, never before, we had so many demands on eyesight as during the last decades. Gadgets and computers, which are an integral part of life for most of us, make our eyes constantly stressed and tired. The blue light emitted by these devices also negatively impacts our eyesight. The hypodynamia and polluted air add to that effect, increasing the risk of eye disorders, which can lead to partial or total loss of eyesight. Still, it is vital to know that, no matter how old you are, small changes in your way of life and eating habits, timely medical care, reasonable use of gadgets, and intake of vitamins can help your eyes and keep eyesight sharp for long.
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