7 Best Foods for Healthy Eyes
How to Get Healthy Eyes
Eye health is a concern for many. Our eyes are vital in our ability to navigate life and vision problems can be scary. There are steps you can take to get healthy, vibrant eyes. Do basic eye care each day, see an eye doctor once a year, and modify your diet for optimal eye health.
Caring for Your Eyes
Wear sunglasses.Just as you protect you skin with sunscreen, your eyes also need added protection on sunny days. If you find yourself squinting or straining your eyes outside, wear sunglasses.
- Look for sunglasses with 100% UVA or UVB protection.
- Choose a brand you feel comfortable wearing. You'll be less likely to make the effort to slip on your sunglasses if you feel unattractive or uncomfortable in them.
- Too much exposure to the sun can increase your risk for cataracts or macular degeneration so sunglasses are a must on bright days. If you wear contact lenses, talk to your eye doctor about getting lenses with added UVB and UVA protection.
Use safety eyewear when necessary.If you work a job where airborne materials are a hazard, use safety goggles at all times. You should also wear eye protection during contact sports, like ice hockey, as well as helmets and other protective material that keeps your head and eyes safe from injury.
Take breaks when working at a computer.Many people spend the bulk of their workday using a computer. If this is the case for you, you need to be conscientious about how you treat your eyes. Eye strain, marked by blurry vision and difficulty focusing, is a common problem for office workers.
- Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking at something roughly 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Every two hours, take a 15 minute break from the computer screen. Your eyes will benefit greatly from the rest.
- Keep your computer screen away from windows or lights, which can cause a glare. Dim your screen if the brightness strains your eyes. You should also tilt the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Looking downward slightly when you work can take some strain away from your eyes.
- If you work long hours in front of a computer, consider wearing sunglasses or goggles at work. This can take some of the strain away if your eyes aren't looking directly at the screen.
- If your eyes feel dry, pause and blink for a few moments.
Take precautions when traveling.When traveling, keep your eye health in mind. If you wear contacts, make sure to pack extras, as well as your contact case and solution. When on an airplane, the air tends to be dryer and more irritating to the eyes. Consider purchasing air drops from a local drug store to use when on an airplane.
Replace and wash contact lenses regularly.If you wear contact lenses, make sure you care for them properly. Always wash your hands thoroughly before removing or tampering with contact lenses. Take them out overnight and let them rest in clean solution. Always place new solution in your lens case rather than using the same solution from the night before.
- Make sure you keep track of when you need to replace your lenses. Wearing older lenses can increase your risk for an eye infection. How long you can wear your contact lenses varies depending on your brand. Some can be worn for a month while some are good for a few months. Make sure you ask your eye doctor how long you can safely wear a pair of lenses before they need replacing.
Seeking Medical Care
Know your family's medical history.Many issues with eye health are hereditary. Talk to your family members and ask if you have a family history of things like glaucoma or cataracts. This information can be helpful going into an eye exam. Your doctor will know what warning signs and symptoms to check for.
- Keep in mind medical conditions, like obesity and diabetes, can affect vision. You should know your family's medical history beyond problems with vision. This can help you figure out if you're at an increased risk for any disorders that could potentially affect your eyesight.
- If you do have a medical history of conditions that affect vision, talk to your regular physician and eye doctor. Ask them what steps you can take to reduce your risk of inheriting these disorders.
Have regular eye exams.You should have an eye exam each year. Even if you do not wear glasses or contacts, it's important you have your eyes checked regularly. Many common eye diseases have little warning signs. Only your eye doctor will be able to detect such conditions during an exam.
- Get your pupils dilated during an exam. This allows your eye doctor to do a more extensive examination of your eyes to make sure they are healthy. Your eye doctor will place a few drops of liquid in your eyes, causing your pupils to increase in size. He or she will then perform an examination.
- If you're having your pupils dilated, it might be best not to drive afterwards. An eye exam can cause your vision to be blurry or shaky for a few hours.
Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking.If you're a smoker, you should take efforts to quit. Smoking can increase risk for several health conditions that affect your vision, like cataracts, macular degeneration, and inflammation of the eye's inner layer.
- See your regular physician to talk about a plan to quit smoking. He or she may be able to provide you with advice or guidelines on how to cut back and eventually cut out tobacco completely. Your doctor may also be able to give you to a referral to an addiction counselor or therapist who can also help you to quit.
- Talk to your friends and family members about how you're trying to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is incredibly difficult and to do so successfully you'll need help from others. Ask friends and family members to talk to you when you're having cravings. If you have loved ones who smoke, ask them politely to not do so in front of you.
- You can join a support group, in person or online, to reach out to others trying to quit tobacco.
Changing Your Diet
Eat the right fruits and vegetables.When it comes to eye health, diet makes a big impact. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for overall health. Certain fruits and veggies have a particularly positive impact on eye health.
- In terms of veggies, carrots do have health benefits for the eyes. However, there are many other vegetables you can incorporate into your diet that will also help. Go for kale, collard greens, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, peas, and Swiss chard.
- For fruits, try peaches, avocados, blueberries, honeydew melons, apricots, papayas, and grapefruit.
Go for foods high in zinc.Zinc is an important mineral when it comes to healthy eyes. Zinc is found in many meats, such as King crab, lamb, and lean beef. It's also found in grains and whole wheat, such as fortified breakfast cereals and whole-wheat and buckwheat flours. Legumes like beans are also an excellent source of zinc.
Get a lot of Omega-3-rich foods in your diet.Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive benefit on your eyes. Seafood is often rich in these acids. Salmon, herring, tuna, rainbow trout, and sardines are good options. In terms of non-meat options, flaxseed, English walnuts, canola oil, and roasted soybeans are a good choice.
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