When was the last time time you visited the hospital just to see an Ophthalmologist? Yes, I caught you. Most of us are guilty of this ‘sin.’ Most often we go to the gym, abstain from unhealthy food and drink gallons of water all in the name of good health. But what have we done to protect those most valuable organs—our eyes? We researched and came up with tips by ophthalmology experts on what we should be doing to preserve the oft-neglected eyes.
- Eye strain. How long do you sit in front of your TV or computer screen staring? Any focused work means you don’t blink as frequently. And all the computer work and internet surfing can take its toll on your eyes. It’s always advisable to take a break from activities which involve prolonged staring.
- Quit smoking. Always cropping up in almost every health related issue. Don’t you think it’s that time you stopped procastinating and quit smoking? You got it: Smoking increases the risk and accelerates the development of cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage. “I’d be more afraid of losing your vision than lung cancer,” says Dr. Iwach of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
- Eye candy. You never knew there was an ‘eye candy’ until today? Well, now you know. Are carrots really good for your eyes? “Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which the retina needs,” says Dr. Lylas Mogk. “But we’re not in danger of having vitamin A deficiencies.” Green leafy veggies like kale, collard and mustard greens, and spinach are good for the eyes because they contain lutein, which studies indicate can reverse symptoms of macular degeneration. And getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and flax can help prevent dry eyes.
- Eye protection. Sunglasses aren’t the only protective eyewear you should don. Obviously anyone working around construction, manufacturing—any job with machinery and flying particles—must wear eye protection. But even when you’re working around the house, you should guard your eyes. Or you don’t think so? While removing those cobwebs hanging on the ceiling or decking of your house, there’s a huge risk of having some particles drop into your eyes. Or even while hanging that beautiful family picture on the wall, plaster or a nail can fly into your eye. Look around your neighbourhood, you will find a store that sells inexpensive clear plastic eye protection.
- Regular checkups. The last but definitely not the least tip on what to do to preserve those eyes. When was the last time you had an eye exam? If it was at 3 years of age, chances are you’re due. It is highly recommended that you have an eye exam before 5 years of age for children to check for childhood problems like amblyopia (sometimes called lazy eye) or strabismus (misaligned eyes), and then on an as-needed basis (vision problems or injuries) up to 19 years of age. One exam in your 20s, and two in your 30s can identify problems which may benefit from early treatment. While it’s normal for vision to change with age, serious eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration (deterioration of retina that causes loss of detail vision) can be treated if detected early. So step up the eye exams after 40 years of age to every two to four years; after age 65, every one to two years.
Now you know what to do, what are you waiting for? Go visit an Ophthalmologist closest to you today!