After your brain, your eyes are the second most complex organ in your body and one that works non-stop from the moment you wake to the moment you lay down to sleep, so good eye care is not to be taken lightly.
Here are my top ten tips to keep your eyes, and your eyesight, in perfect condition…
1 – Drink Plenty of Water
Everyone’s heard it said that you should drink at least 2 litres of water a day, but do you know why? Water hydrates your entire body, and this includes your eyes too – the surface is coated with a water-based lubricant that lets you blink easily and helps to wash away dirt, debris and bacteria. So dehydration = dry eyes, which can then lead to infections.
2 – Eat Leafy Green Vegetables
Kids not eating their sprouts? Try telling them they might go blind if they don’t! Okay, I’m not suggesting you terrify your children into eating their greens, but it is true that leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and sprouts contain antioxidants to help slow down degeneration of the retina, the lining inside your eyes.
3 – Don’t Smoke
We all know smoking leads to cancer, but did you know it can make you blind too? Smoking is linked to macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness at old age in the Western world. Not to mention smoking causes wrinkles too – and crow’s feet is never a good look!
4 – Take Breaks at Work
If you are one of the many people today whose job revolves around a computer screen, you could be damaging your eyes if you’re not taking regular breaks. Staring at a screen all day can strain your eyes and cause headaches, so now you have the perfect excuse for a five-minute tea break every so often!
5 – Keep Eyes Moist
I mentioned earlier the problems that dry eyes can lead to, but all the water in the world won’t help if you’re in a particularly dry atmosphere. If you’re in an area that has air conditioning or central heating, the air is likely to be very dry so an artificial humidifier can restore humidity levels back to normal. Alternatively, for short periods such as on an aeroplane, invest in some good eye drops.
6 – Buy UV-Rated Sunglasses
Those cheap and cheerful sunglasses you picked up at the market may look gorgeous, but if they don’t have proper UV protection you may as well not be wearing them. Buy high quality sunglasses that block UV rays – whether you’re lazing on the beach or skiing the slopes, your eyes will thank you for it.
7 – Never Look at the Sun
I’m not suggesting you hide away like a hermit all year round, but one thing you should never do is look directly at the sunlight when you go outside. Not with sunglasses on and not even during an eclipse. Staring directly at the sun can cause serious vision loss or even total blindness.
8 – Check Your Prescription
Our sight changes over time so the prescription you had some years ago may not be right for you now. At least once a year – or immediately if you find you’re suffering from regular headaches – get your prescription checked to make sure you are still wearing the right one for your needs.
9 – Take Your Contacts Out
You should never, ever sleep in contact lenses. Even the best lenses lead to complications when left in for a prolonged period of time, in particular causing the eyes to dry out, so always take them out before you go to bed.
10 – Have Regular Checkups
Finally, for full peace of mind it’s a good idea to have an eye check-up at least once a year to check for early signs of disease and other problems. Get your eyes checked with a qualified professional such as at Optegra Eyecare to check for early signs and symptoms of problems such as diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.
If you’re experiencing any eye abnormalities such as a change in appearance, unexplained flashing lights, double vision, distortion, blurring or things floating in your vision, and it does not clear itself up within a few hours, get in touch with an optometrist immediately.
About the author: Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one home at a time. Inspired by antique homes and the great outdoors, its her passion to help every person to find that perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality in their own home. She’s also a keen DIYer and gardener with an interest in eco-friendly, green design.