Don't Lose Sight of What's Important: Tips to Maintaining Your Eyesight
As long days staring into too-bright computer screens turn into long nights squinting at dimly lit textbooks, nothing is as critical to monitor as one’s eye health. Even though regular visits to the eye doctor are a necessity (yes, even if you don’t wear glasses!), here are some of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy in between those routine check ups.
Switching up your diet just ever so slightly can make a big difference in your vision. It recommended that food containing “omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and Vitamins C and E” (WebMD) be added to one’s everyday meals. These nutrients can be found in leafy, green vegetables; fish; non-meat proteins (eggs, beans, etc.); citrus fruits, and even pork! The addition of just a few of these delicious ingredients can help prevent cataracts (a clouding of the lens of the eye) and macular degeneration (the process by which the retina is deteriorated), along with keeping one at a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, “which is the leading cause of blindness in adults” (WebMD).
2.) Protective Eyewear
Whether at work, at a sporting event, or just enjoying a nice sunny day, protective eyewear can save one’s eyes and one’s checkbook. It is recommended that safety goggles be worn if working with dust, flying shards, chemicals, and radiation. Approximately 2.4 Million eye injuries occur each year in the U.S. resulting in almost 1 million Americans losing some degree of vision (AllAboutVision.com). Sunglasses, safety goggles, and helmets with facemasks or shields are always recommended additions to any activity. Scratched corneas, sun-damaged retinas, and even black eyes can be avoided with these simple and easy precautions.
Having the proper lighting while doing work either in an office, at school, or at home is critical to avoid eye strain. Along with adjusting light settings to decrease damage to one’s eyes, sitting in a comfortable position (not too close to a screen or textbook), looking through the correct prescription lenses, the best way to keep one’s eyes healthy is to take frequent breaks. Adjusting positioning while working will not only decrease damage to the eyes, but can also help decrease headaches, neck, back, and even shoulder pain. For every 20 minutes of work done, focus for 20 seconds on something 20 feet away. For every 2 hours spent working, get up and move around for at least 15 minutes - let hyperfocused eyes drift around, blink more, and relax (WebMD).