1. Nutrition makes a difference
Eat a healthy diet of “anti-inflammatory foods”: avoiding red meats; eating more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, including cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and halibut; and avoiding saturated fats. Instead, use monounsaturated fats like olive oil.
It seems that inflammation is at the base of a lot of diseases, including macular degeneration. Eating anti-inflammatory foods and watching your dietary intake of antioxidants substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals] are important and do seem to help prevent some of the age-related disease processes like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Mother was correct when she said to eat more greens and vegetables as they contain antioxidants that research shows may help preserve eye health and deter the risk of macular degeneration. Oral supplements available from the clinic which contain lutein or beta-carotene may be useful in the prevention of macular degeneration.
Taking flaxseed, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and avoid artificial fats in low-fat baked goods. Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acid foods might also help with dry eyes. These omega-3 food supplements are available in the clinic.
Diet is at the root of many diseases that can affect the eyes. High blood pressure has been linked to a multitude of eye problems, including macular degeneration and hypertensive retinopathy. Diabetes can cause severe problems in the eyes. High cholesterol can cause problems in the blood supply of the eyes. Good eye care and generally good health all comes down to balance and good diet.
2. Protect your eyes from the sun
Sun exposure has been linked to cataract formation and, possibly, macular degeneration. And not just any old tinted glasses will help.
To protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, you need to make sure your regular glasses and sunglasses have 100% UV protection. That is completely separate from any tint. The fact is that you can have clear lenses with UV coating that will protect you from the harmful rays of the sun.
UV protective glasses do more than protect against cataracts and other eye diseases. UV rays can also cause a growth on the eye’s surface that is called a pterygium. This sun damage, which can appear as a yellow-reddish growth on the eye’s surface, can cause irritation, decrease vision and require surgery.
While there is controversy about whether exercising the eyes with eye movements helps preserve vision or prevent disease, there is research that suggests aerobic exercise, in general, reduces eye pressure — which may be beneficial in the case of glaucoma.
4. Don’t smoke!
Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases and vision problems, according to research. Smoking damages blood vessels, causing them to constrict and form atherosclerotic plaques — which can deprive the eye tissue of oxygen. Smoking is bad for health, even second hand smoke.
5. Eye health at work
While computer use won’t harm your eyes in the long term, experts say working at a computer can cause eye fatigue and symptoms such as tired, dry, itchy or burning eyes. People can prevent eye stress by sitting correctly at the computer with the screen positioned slightly below the line of sight.
The screen shouldn’t be just a few inches away (too close) or so far that you cannot see the text easily. People who need bifocal or trifocal lenses have to talk to their eye care doctors to determine what that ideal distance from the computer should be.
Glare can create eye strain. People can combat glare at work with antireflective coatings on their computer screens as well as antireflective coatings on their glasses. The monitor should be placed such that reflections from bright ceiling lights and windows is minimized to reduce glare.
6. Have thorough eye exams
One of the most proactive steps that people can take to protect their vision is to have a complete eye exam early in adulthood and then periodic exams as they get older, depending on their family history and individual risk of eye disease. People 40 and older should have annual eye exams because their risk for eye diseases rises dramatically.
Regular eye checks are strongly encouraged for people with diabetics and especially for children with myopia, lazy eyes,refractive errors, squints, learning difficulties & special needs.
Consistent 6 monthly eye checks are encouraged to maintain good eye health for all.
7. Read with adequate lighting and appropriate distance
A recommended reading distance of about 16 inches from the book is a general norm. Try not to read in bed as the lighting tends to be poor and the posture inappropriate.
The angle of the head tilted on a pillow may cause astigmatism. Though many people love to read in bed it is generally not recommended.
8. Take a vision break
When you are reading your favourite book or playing your computer game take a vision break of about 5 minutes after about 30 minutes of continuous reading or close up activity. This would help to reduce chances of developing myopia or near sightedness. Relax the eyes by looking at something far away during the vision break. Remember to avoid glare from your reading materials. Eyes are more likely to be myopic when in a state of near focus without breaks.
9. Do more outdoors activities.
People especially children should spend more time outdoors. Dr Khng quoted an Australian study which observed that even with children from the same ethnic group and background, the group that did not spend time outdoors were at higher risk of becoming myopic even though the 2 groups did the same amount of near work.
10. Wear eye protection
When playing extreme sports or working with industrial equipment wear eye protection. Protective eye goggles or shields are strongly recommended when doing sports with small balls as small objects can be sources of danger. Sports such as air rifle shooting, paintball games, hockey, golf and racket games can lead to terrible sports eye injury.
When handling Industrial equipment like hammering a nail, pullet gun or soldering iron, please remember to wear eye protection as industrial & domestic DIY accidents can be so easily avoided.
Remember Prevention is better than Cure!