They say that the eyes are the window into the soul. It only makes sense to keep those pretty peepers not only looking fabulous but feeling fantastic too. What we see and how we look at the world goes beyond a great smoky eye. The importance of taking care of our eyes increases as we age so let’s help keep an eye out for each other (pun totally intended!) and learn the best ways to keep our eyes healthy.
Every day we do preventative care on ourselves. We apply sunscreen to our skin, eat healthy and take our vitamins. Our eyes are no different so take care each day by doing the following.
- Wear sunglasses, even when it is cloudy out and in the dead of winter. The UV rays can break down your eyes and can cause between 5-10 percent of cataract cases. Look for 100 percent UV protection on your shades.
- Work place safety begins with blinking. Take a break from your computer screen every 20 minutes and look beyond the desk. Give straining eyes a much-needed break.
- We log in a lot of screen time these days. Give eyes a rest and lubricate them with a simple blink. We blink far less than we did in the past due to all our smart phone using. Stop, blink 15-20 times, and go back to your business. Repeat a few times a day to give your eyes some tears and moisture to help keep them fresh and focused.
We grew up hearing that the Vitamin A from carrots would give us healthy eyes. No need to start crunching them at every meal; just make sure you are ingesting a good dose of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. You can find each in dark leafy veggies such as spinach, kale and even Brussels sprouts. Corn is another choice food for your eyes. Oily fish like salmon and tuna can ward off macular degeneration. Eat these foods and your carrots for long-lasting eyes that can fight off cataracts better.
For the Over 40
If you are over 40, some new rules apply to maintain your macular health.
- See your eye doctor every one to four years to keep an eye on your vision. If you wear glasses or contacts it should be yearly.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking can cause not just dry eyes but lead to cataracts and an overall deterioration in your health, including your eyes.
- Get tested annually for glaucoma.
- If particular eye diseases like macular degeneration runs in your family then make sure you are tested yearly by your ophthalmologist.